Venue, Timing and Cost
Siblings Cannot Agree is an imaginative and intriguing exhibition by Cally Trench and her brother Nick Trench of self-portraits and portraits of each other, organised by the Friends of the Heseltine Gallery. When Cally Trench came across a pair of pencil portraits she and brother Nick drew of each other, over 45 years ago, the chance discovery became the catalyst for an exhibition by these two contrasting artists, Working together for only the second time, Cally and Nick Trench have compiled an eclectic range of portraits and self-portraits of themselves spanning five decades – full faces, isolated features, hands and feet.
The works – including pencil, ink, oil and film pieces – are individual and idiosyncratic in their vision as well as differing in style and format. The two pencil portraits from 1970, which triggered the whole idea, will sit side-by-side to open the display and hint at the two highly disparate artistic expressions that follow.
Cally's formats include diptychs, triptychs, collections of graphic and robust ‘Feet’ and ‘Hand’ drawings and time-lapse films: “They suggest how we perceive people through constant movement. The dynamism is an indication of life and human energy, echoed by the way that viewers have to respond physically, moving backwards and forwards, to make out the detail of the pen and ink marks and then step back to see the whole image.”
Meanwhile, Nick's approach to his work has an entirely different impulse: “I explore figures in different environments or treat them in different ways. Sometimes the figure may disappear entirely – perhaps it merges into surroundings or disappears behind them.”
The exhibition will inspire discussion about what ‘portrait painting’ can, or might, mean for people, especially young people – the so-called ‘selfie generation’ – and encourage them to express their own view of themselves as well as how they are perceived.
The Closing Event on Saturday 29 September, 11am to 3pm, includes a guided tour of the work, led by the artists, plus readings by both artists from their writing. See also 22 September for Cally Trench's Board Games event at the gallery.