P O R T R A I T
NEW EXHIBITION OPENS
AUGUST 20TH - 30TH ISLINGTON CASS ART
SEPTEMBER 3RD - 13TH GLASGOW CASS ART
PORTRAIT THE REASON WHY I PAINT
“Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
From her classroom, Scarlett Raven created an imaginary world where Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí were her friends. Encouraged by her art teacher, she explored their self-portraits and fell in love with painting. Her new collection, Portrait: The Reason Why I Paint, has seen her embark on the rediscovery of herself and her art to create a series of startling works that capture her childhood heroes.
Over the period of a year, the painter reconnected with her 11-year-old self. Her signature impasto style – made famous by her World War One project, The Danger Tree – embodies the tumultuous emotions of her subjects: Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Leonardo da Vinci, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dalí and Vincent van Gogh. Inner turmoil, courage and self-love are expressed through layers of oil paint and digital animation created by Marc Marot.
“Without these artists, I wouldn’t be who I am,” says Scarlett. “They were my best friends, my place to play, feel, laugh and cry. It felt like meeting real people and making real connections; they became a family and a world I felt safe in.”
As her confidence grew, Scarlett abandoned her insecurities and relearnt how to transform colours, shapes and textures into emotive portraits. The facial features she once glimpsed in the terrains of her landscape works metamorphosised into the artists who changed history forever, enhanced by Marc’s augmented reality productions.
“There’s something so magical about thick oil paint,” adds Scarlett. “It has a heartbeat and it feels like you’re moulding a life when creating a person. Every time I look at their work, I feel like that 11-year-old girl who discovered the world and herself for the first time. I had to lose myself completely to learn who I was.”