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National Portrait Gallery: Audio features

Apr 19th, 2011 • Category: Case studies

Brief

The National Portrait Gallery commissioned us to produce a series of audio features to promote its monthly Visualising Portraits picture descriptions sessions for blind and partially-sighted visitors.

The lectures are lively and interactive, provoking much discussion and conversation. Each session takes place in the gallery, seated in front of the painting whilst experienced artists and describers give a detailed verbal description of a particular work from the collection. Each month focuses on a different portrait, from the famous to the infamous!

Outcome

The audio features we produced covered a whole range of portraits and styles, from contemporary artists like Eduardo Paolozzi to legends of Romanticism like John Keats.

Listen to our work

Joseph Severn, who had nursed his friend in Rome, described the circumstances recreated in this posthumous portrait:

‘This was the time he first fell ill and had written the Ode to the Nightingale on the morning of my visit to Hampstead. I found him sitting with the two chairs as I have painted him & was struck with the first real symptoms of sadness in Keats so finely expressed in that poem.’

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Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He was a major figure in the international art sphere working on his own interpretation and vision of the world. Paolozzi investigated how we can fit into the modern world to resemble our fragmented civilization through imagination and fantasy. One of his most well known sculptures is of Sir Isaac Newton which oversees the comings and goings in the courtyard at the British Library.

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