Self Portrait UK

5 May 2003 – 7 July 2003

Part of the following series:

Community Projects

What do you think you look like? What best captures your image? See how others would like the world to see them at London Underground’s Piccadilly Circus station from 5 May to 7 July.

The 11 self-portraits on display at the station are the most innovative and individual entries from a UK-wide project in which people of all ages were asked to create their own portrait.

A panel of judges, comprising production company Media 19, Channel 4, the National Portrait Gallery and Northern Arts, reviewed over 5,000 entries.

Media 19 – supported by the Arts Council of England – devised and produced the campaign in Newcastle in the summer of 2002 for Channel 4.

Media 19 Director, Belinda Williams said: “We received thousands of brilliant entries that gave an insight into the talent, diversity and imagination of the huge range of people from across the UK who took part. There were an incredible number of different identities and approaches to Self Portrait UK, and behind each image are many individual stories, experiences and statements. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and the quality of work submitted.”

Jessica Emmett chose to be photographed in the bath because that’s where she “feels like a size-10 model”. Another self-portrait by Florian, a young Romanian refugee, is a photograph of himself in the shape of a question mark to convey his hopes and fears about his new life. A work by Baljit Balrow shows her face painted with the Union Jack and wearing Indian jewellery, revealing that she is British Indian. Some of the other finalists portrayed themselves through a doodled school diary, old-fashioned library cards and a rap song.

Self Portrait UK is the latest project by Platform for Art, London Underground’s public art programme.

Up to 100 of the self-portraits are exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery until 22 June before touring Museums in Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester and Belfast throughout 2003/04. Also from May to December 2003, 20 self-portraits will be posted throughout the Tyne & Wear Metro system in Newcastle

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Visiting Information

Artworks for this project are available to visit at the following stations. Where more detailed visiting information is available, page links have been included in the list below.