About Face

Image of eye from Don't stare it's rude
Mark Fairnington Ann-Lena, 2012. Oil on panel, 7.4cm diameter, 2012

About Face brings together artists, theorists, curators and writers within UAL to explore the concepts of contemporary portraiture.

This group is supported by the UAL Community of Practice Fund. It examines what happens when different disciplines and perspectives are brought to bear on the concept of portraiture, treating it as an open proposition. The group provides a platform for UAL colleagues and external partners to share and develop research around portraiture, questions of identity and the embodied self, building connections between emerging definitions and ideas and establishing a network both across UAL and beyond.

The Group‘s evolving activities include discussions, dialogue, symposia and visits.

Download the About Face 5th Symposium, March 2017, Wimbledon College of Art.


Group members

  • Oriana Baddeley – Professor and Dean of Research, UAL 
  • Rosie Broadley – Associate Curator, National Portrait Gallery
  • Mark Fairnington - Reader in Painting, CCW, UAL
  • Stephen Farthing - Rootstein Hopkins Chair of Drawing, UAL
  • Sarah Jaffray – Project Officer, British Museum and Wellcome Trust
  • Ian King - Professor of Aesthetics, LCF, UAL
  • Dr. Janet Mckenzie  - Former Co-editor Studio International, writer and artist
  • Dr. Jo Melvin – Reader in Fine Art Theory, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Trish Scott – PhD Student, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL
  • Isabel Seligman – Curator, Bridget Riley Art Foundation at the British Museum
  • Fiona Smith – Adult Programmes Officer, National Portrait Gallery
  • Anita Taylor – Professor and Dean of Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University 
  • Colin Wiggins – Special Projects Curator, National Gallery
  • Dr. Robert Luzar - Lecturer in Fine Art, Bath Spa University
  • Sally Taylor - Fine Art, York St John University
  • Dan Allen - Head of Department, Art, Bath Spa Univeristy
  • Dr. Dominic Janes - Professor of of Modern History

Recent activities & outputs