10 Mar Portrait of Elly Clarke
“For four hours yesterday I sat for Cathy Stocker as she drew me for an ongoing project. Being under scrutiny for this long was an incredible and insightful experience. Sitting still. Not talking. Hearing the same broadcast of Women’s Hour that somehow I’d already heard earlier in the week. And a play based on a Raymond Chandler novel. Focusing on a twig. Thinking. Not thinking. Remembering my woes. My excitements. And forgetting them. Feeling calm. Then fighting the urge to fall asleep. Needing coffee. Needing food. Needing warmth. Needing to move my feet. Aware of my weight on the chair. Aware of my hands on my lap. Watching Cathy watching me. Being measured with a pencil. Not knowing at all what was unfolding on page before her. Watching her face as the image developed. Watching the twig. Noticing the twig twitching in the wind. Chatting occasionally. Thinking about my George Richmond project and about this process. Two people in a room together for quite a long time. The trust. The intimacy. Sitting still in a world where we hardly ever do this anymore, except when we’re traveling at great speeds. And then the final unveiling of the work. Cathy said she saw lots of emotions on my face. It’s also the sense of being observed, for an extended period. You can’t really hide when it’s that long. For a photograph you can hold a pose. You can perform (for a few shots). But sitting still like this is a very different process”.
I will be exhibiting this portrait among others as part of a series at the Long Gallery at Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill, London N6.
1st – 30th September 2014. Private View, Weds 3rd September, 7pm (all welcome)
All photographs Copyright Elly Clarke 2014.