After a stroll around the exhibition and actually managing to intelligently discuss the contrasting styles in the portraits, we gathered to hear Jonathan Yeo discussing his work with Tim Marlow and special guest, actor Charlie Condou. The moment they started speaking, I instantly regretted not bringing a notebook - I normally carry one everywhere but we went to the exhibition straight from work and everything was just that bit too hectic for me to remember something so basic. In the hour long conversation, they covered so much ground including the experience of painting versus being the subject of a portrait, the nature of 'celebrity', a fascinating exploration of Yeo's political artwork, and how the development of technology and the rise of the selfie has changed the way we view portraiture. It was so inspiring to watch these three incredibly articulate men giving a real insight into the artistic process as well as discussing its connection to our wider society, and there were numerous brilliants comments that I wish I'd had the common sense to write down verbatim so that I could put them in here.
After the talk, we were lucky enough to grab a moment with Charlie Condou for a brief chat. If it hadn't been for his Twitter, we wouldn't have known the event was even happening and it would have been such a shame to miss out on such a fantastic evening. Charlie was utterly lovely, so friendly and accommodating, and even agreed to a quick photo before he had to dash off. Unfortunately, Jonathan Yeo was also in a hurry so we weren't able to speak to him at all which was a shame as I would've loved an opportunity to pick his brain a little further!
Excuse the slightly low quality image...good old phone cameras!
Thanks to Jenny for using her phone to take this photo,
as mine would've turned out much worse.
If you're in the Manchester area or are willing to travel to see some incredible art, I highly recommend that you do so. The exhibition is open until 29th June and you can find more information about it here. The Lowry is a fantastic facility, so it's worth a visit anyway!
Do you feel that you understand art enough to appreciate it fully? And does that affect the way that you view it? Let me know in the comments!