Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Monday 16 September 2019

Open Studio Jayne Wallett – Portrait of a Lady – Drawings of Unknown Women

‘Russian’ by Jayne Wallett

Open Studio with Jayne Wallett

Portrait of a Lady – Drawings of Unknown Women

10:00 to 16:00 Saturday & Sunday 14th & 15th September

Wivenhoe Bookshop Shed 

Join us for this Open Studio event – Jayne talks about it here:

Last December I got a copy of Howards End out of Wivenhoe Library. There was a photograph of a woman on the cover. When I looked on the back of the book, it said ‘Autochrome of an unknown woman, c1912 by Lionel de Rothschild’, and I wondered how such an interesting looking person could be ‘unknown’.

Looking in the National Portrait Gallery photography collection, I found many other ‘unknown’ women; caught by the camera for a moment and then lost. They were daughters, they were possibly mothers, some of them were privileged, educated people, some might have been working class women, domestic servants asked to pose for a photographer in the household. The photographers are often also unknown, but it is the female subjects who interest me, with only their faces left for the record.

By drawing some of these Unknown Women, by spending hours with them, looking at their faces as I worked, I hope I have given them back something of their identity.