Chasing Mirrors: Portraits of the Unseen

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Portraits of the Unseen (Installation detail) © Courtesy of the artists & National Portrait Gallery
Chasing Mirrors: Portraits of the Unseen

St Martin's Place
London WC2H 0HE
United Kingdom
October 15th, 2010 - January 9th, 2011

+44 020 7321 6620
Open daily 10am - 6pm; Late night opening Thursday and Friday until 9pm


In this second year of the project, the work in this installation results from collaboration between artist Alinah Azadeh and the same groups who took part last year. The installation moves away from representation through human image: the outer, familiar manifestation of identity. Instead, participants explored how portraits of the inner, 'hidden' self can be created. Personal objects were wrapped with cloth, and are suspended between two mirrors to form collective portraits of each group. Text is integral as it is in traditional Islamic culture, including information about the objects in the participants' own words, and the names of the young people wrapped around the walls in mirrored Arabic script.

Alinah Azadeh

Alinah Azadeh is a British-Iranian artist with a background in painting, new media and video. Since her MA in Media Arts Practice at Westminster University (2001), she has created installations that combine textile media with texts and networked technology.  Collaboration and mass participation are central to her work, either with other practitioners or the audience itself.

Recent projects include The Shape of Things : The Gifts, a textile installation for Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Feb 6 - April18, 2010): 999 small objects were donated by members of the public which had personal meaning for the Giver.  These were wrapped and bound using fabric and yarn, and suspended from the ceiling of the gallery to form a large composite piece.