Sally Potter Q&A with Sandy Nairne
Between February and April 2011, John Jones displayed an exciting exhibition of photographic works by renowned film director Sally Potter. Taken on the set of her recent film RAGE using a cellphone camera, the images are reflective of Sally’s long-term love affair with the close-up, and include the likes of Jude Law, Lily Cole and Judy Dench. To conclude this successful exhibition, on Tuesday 5th April 2011, John Jones was delighted to host an insightful Q&A session with the artist and Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery. An initial conversation between Sally and Sandy took place in September 2010, concerning the nature of truth in portraiture of actors. Is the real portrait of the actor when he or she is caught unawares, un-masked and vulnerable, as any image of an actor ‘in character’ displays a constructed persona that cannot represent the actor’s true self? The evening provided Sally with the opportunity to counter this view. She argued that the everyday self is not necessarily more ‘true’, and that a working actor can bring a more articulate alternative into his/her skin that reveals something of their own personality not normally evident. She went on to explain that we are all to some degree ‘acting a part’, unsure of who we ‘really are’ and consciously or unconsciously invent ourselves anew in every situation. The evening’s discussion and the images on display questioned the nature of portraiture as revelatory, highlighted that our personalities are not fixed entities, and provided the audience at John Jones with a unique insight into the working mind of this celebrated film-maker.
Selection of works by Sally Potter