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People's Portrait Reception 2022: ’Seeing and not-seeing’

'Toby' by Peter Brown RP
'Toby' by Peter Brown RP - added to the People's Portraits collection in July 2022

This year's People's Portraits Reception was introduced by the Mistress, Professor Susan J. Smith, and saw the unveiling by Alistair Adams PPRP of his portrait 'Love Disfigure' of Sylvia Mac. Sylvia is a Body-Equality Activist and Child burns survivor. She campaigns to challenge the fashion industry, media and society to represent and accept people who are “different” through her ‘Love Disfigure’ work. After a short discussion between the artist and sitter about the genesis of the painting and their relationship we heard from former Mistress of Girton, Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern DBE FBA, who explored ways in which seeing and not-seeing play into what is known and not-known. Her reflections stimulated by this special occasion also dwelled briefly on her time as an anthropologist. 

 A full version of Professor Strathern's talk can be read: Seeing and not-seeing

The portrait was extremely well received by the audience, and a lively discussion followed in the Q&A session. 

Image of artist, sitter and portrait
Image of artist, sitter and portrait
image of speaker
image of panel
Image of the audience