Are you the watcher, or are you being watched?
Whatever your vibe, there’ll be plenty to see at The Crawford Art Gallery later this month with the launch of a new winter portrait exhibition.
All Eyes on Us is a salon-style presentation of Crawford Art Gallery’s portrait collection in which we, the viewer, are scrutinised by the eyes in dozens of portraits. What happens when we return their gaze?
“You might have heard of the famously eerie “Mona Lisa effect,” an illusion where the eyes of a portrait seem to follow the viewer.” they told us.
“It’s all to do with human perception and how the eyes of a two-dimensional artwork appear to be fixed on the viewer regardless of their position in the room. Or maybe it’s to do with an innate human desire to “feel seen,” rather than a physical effect.”
Just like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, will the eyes of the portraits follow you around the room, to unsettling effect?
The exhibition combines much-loved favourites, such as Victoria Russell’s beguiling portrait of Fiona Shaw and Murdo Mcleod’s eye-catching portrait of Roy Keane, with lesser-known works like Gerald Festus Kelly’s portrait of fascinating Russian author and translator Sasha Kropotkin and Kevin Mooney’s Storyteller, a surprising portrait of Peig Sayers.
Curated by Matt Ryan and Michael Waldron, ALL EYES ON US runs from November 18th 2023 until March, 2024.