On the face of it…

North London’s Chocolate Factory is home to around 20 artists making portraits in a wide variety of media.  On the face of it… is a study in diversity. The exhibition has diversity in style, media, size and scale of work and there is diversity in the people who are the subjects of the portraits.

Sadie Lee’s paintings of artist David Hoyle and actress Rita Tushingham look haughtily into the gallery with attitude.  Somehow being hung next to Mark Entwistle’s Clara makes her look all the more innocent.  Whilst Lee presents us with figures against a white background Entwistle gives us lots of detail and content of the grand-looking interior around Clara.

In Neale Marriott’s autobiographical String Theory, the artist is presented shirtless surveying the London skyline. Along a series of gridlines other people are going about their business.  Of his work on paper Marriott said: “I’ve always loved drawing and painting on paper as it allows a huge amount of freedom in developing ideas and playing with materials. It’s an arena that often creates surprising results and new pathways and in a technological age still has the sense of a primal act.”

Vaughan Melzer says of her work that she is interested in “the great untapped potential of ordinary people.”  Amongst the work she presents are images of the butcher, the baker and the news vendor. Traditional High Streetoccupations all too often becoming subsumed into the onward march of supermarkets, as convenience replaces service.

Terry Payne has a passion for using the very best high end digital cameras & flash lighting techniques in his studio, and producing creative photography of the highest quality.  In this exhibition Payne presents some witty images of joy in a garden shed and a girl amongst giant strawberries and a further image called magic moments in family life.

Hilary Barry has four large paintings in the exhibition that capture a kinetic energy and feel like snatched moments in time.  Whilst Susie Breen’s portrait London Masai reminds us of the multiple identities that many Londoners have, and the choices we have in how we present ourselves.

Santhosh Chandran shares a series of wedding photos from elaborately staged South Asian weddings to a simple double portrait of two shoeless women walking along a shoreline.  This portrait captures a moment of freedom and informality within a civil partnership.

For more information on these artists – or to discuss commissioning your own portrait please see the website www.chocolatefactoryartists.co.uk/artgallery 


Commissioning a portrait

Commissioning a portrait is a unique and lasting way to celebrate an event, and milestone or capture a loved one.  With around 20 artists to choose from Chocolate Factory artists will be able to give you an unprecedented choice.

Think about what you want…

What is the purpose of the portrait and where is it going to go?

Think about the budget you have…

Think about the timescale you are working to – is the portrait tied to a specific occasion…Remember some techniques will take longer to produce a finished art work than others.  You should commission the portrait at least a month in advance for pencil, pastel, watercolor, and acrylic portraits, or 3 months for oil portraits.

Think about the style of the artwork you want… To help this process take a look at the website www.chocolatefactoryartists.co.uk/artgallery  and contact Andreas at Collage Arts if you need help on 020 8365 7500

Now start talking to artists.  Don’t be shy you need to talk to ensure you both understands what you want and work out which artist is right for you.  Look at lots of their work to help you decide.

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