The Lockdown Portrait Exchange is a development of an ongoing project that aims to highlight the importance of face-to-face human interaction. Spontaneous portrait exchanges with strangers in public spaces across a number of different countries had been the central focus of my practice. The success of the Lisbon Portrait Exchange earlier last year motivated the continuation of this format as a social art form as a platform to discuss, interpret and publicly share the thoughts and faces of participants.
The Lockdown Portrait Exchange began in March 2020 due to the global pandemic of Covid 19, when the majority of the world were told to stay at home.
To continue the project during this time I created an alternative approach.
This resulted in 'online live portrait drawing'. After sending out open invitations on facebook and other social forums I have been experimenting with a new way of connecting with people through the project. Although a little less spontaneous, the participant responds to the invite and contacts me to arrange a date/time to meet over video chat.
As before, after our brief introductions I ask the participant the question: "If everyone in the world were willing to listen to you for one moment, what would you say?", upon starting a 10 minute timer. They sit still to be drawn through our cameras/screens while contemplating their response. When ten minutes have passed. I stop drawing and the participant writes their response/message on plain white paper. A photo of this written response is sent to me which I then combine with a photo of their portrait and send back to the participant as one image.
The exchanges are no longer restricted to my location but open to anyone with a camera and internet access.
I am interested in the new dynamics of the process and the way that it is experienced by the participant. I am currently looking for new participants from any part of the world. Contact me if you would like to participate.