Explanation Self Portaits Whitstable Open 2015

by Vincent Donlin

Explanation Self Portaits Whitstable Open 2015

At the Whitstable show I have 6 self portraits not for sale here is a little about them.

The 6x V1 self portraits Circular, Unilateral, Notations on Termination.

Inspired by Phil Tyler’s paintings concerning grief The series was "conceived" this being the operative word for the longer of the two titles the acronym being a crude name for the female generative organ and a derogatory term for a dubious male. The loss of three women who were very close to me in just less than a year my sister in law Laura, in May 2014 my. My Mother Catherine in August 2014 and my mother in law Georgina in April 2015. Caused me to reflect on the termination of this life the fact that we born of a women and begin this life from a women’s generative organ but can terminate anywhere. I chose my own head as an object for this series as I will be here until either my faculties decline and can no longer paint or my life is terminated as it inevitably will be at some point. I painted my head in profile, 3 quarter face, full face, 3 quarter face, profile and from the back of my head. I have painted 1 profile using two mirrors from life. The 3quarter portrait with and the full face using one mirror from life. As they were painted on small format canvass I photocopied and flipped in the Photoshop programme and printed and then used as a source for the rest of the paintings. The only photo taken for the whole series was the back of my head taken by my wife Amanda.

The 6 small canvas’s are then used as the basis for 6 larger canvas, s all measuring 50 x 70 the format being of some numerical significance as I began painting them while still in my 50s and my sister in law died in her 53rd year and 70 as being the biblical age of 3 score year and 10 when ones life is terminated. The size of the larger canvases is also larger than life. Which gives the heads an importance and gravitas that it wouldn’t have if left as small canvases. This has a monumental quality that is quite the opposite of what I felt during the process of these women dying I felt so sad lonely and my life without meaning. It is only now upon reflection that we the living confer meaning on those whom we love after they have gone.

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