The most ambitious special exhibition ever to take place at Hogarth’s House opened on 20 September. The Small Self comprises more than fifty self-
portraits by artists, designers, cartoonists, writers and performers brought together in honour of William Hogarth in the 250th anniversary year of his death. The exhibition runs until 11 January, admission free, and is open 12 noon to 5pm every day except Mondays.
Artists Chrissy Blake, a founder member of the Trust, and Jason Bowyer, a current trustee, devised the concept of an exhibition of small self-portraits when work on the refurbishment of Hogarth’s House was underway. Their aim has been to engage a modern artistic community with the House and so attract a different audience. Their imagination, creativity and persistence, and their ability to inspire the invited artists, together with a generous grant from the J Paul Getty Junior Charitable Trust, have enabled the exhibition to become a reality.
The gallery at Hogarth’s House is small, so the portraits had to be small too. Foot-
square artists’ boards were sent to invited artists and without the enthusiasm of those who have contributed their self-portraits, there would be no exhibition. They include the Hogarth Trust’s patron Peter Blake, Royal Academicians William Bowyer, Anthony Green, Ken Howard and Humphrey Ocean and a number of New English Art Club members, performers such as Harry Hill, Holly Johnson, Joanna Lumley and Jim Moir, designers like Cath Kidston, cartoonists Steve Bell and Martin Rowson and writer Jacqueline Wilson. We are enormously grateful to them and to everyone who has supported the project.
A beautifully-designed catalogue, with all the portraits in full colour, is on sale at the House at £6.95 but you must visit to see the self-portraits “in the flesh”, especially as Peter Blake has made a small addition to his since the catalogue was produced! Later in the year self-portrait workshops will be on offer to those who would like to try creating their own.