Chasing Mirrors: Portraits of the Unseen
Chasing Mirrors: Portraits of the Unseen was the second installation of the project which ran at the National Portrait Gallery from 14th October 2010 – 10th January 2011. Artist Alinah Azadeh collaborated with young people from our community partners Tallo, Paiwand and An Nisa via a series of creative workshops. They explored the Gallery's Collection and looked at issues around identity and cultural representation, to produce the installation ‘Chasing Mirrors: Portraits of the Unseen’ at the Gallery.
The installation moved away from representation through human image: the outer, familiar manifestation of identity. Instead, participants explored how portraits of the inner, ‘hidden' self could be created. Personal objects were wrapped with cloth, concealing them and making them a part of the collective piece. Text was integral as it is in traditional Islamic culture, in this case focusing on the names of the participants in Arabic, represented in the form of the 99 names of Allah.
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.Read Alinah's blog
Chasing Mirrors is a three year project funded by John Lyon’s Charity. In the second year artist Alinah Azadeh worked with young people from community groups in West London to produce an installation at the National Portrait Gallery. In this film, those involved reflect on their experience.
Portraits of the Unseen (Installation detail)
by Alinah Azadeh and the Chasing Mirrors Collective. © National Portrait Gallery, London and the Chasing Mirrors Collective