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Jonathan Farningham at the Scottish Portrait Awards

Huge congratulations go to former Portrait Diploma student, Jonathan Farningham, whose self-portrait has been selected for the Scottish Portrait Awards.

He says:

‘I applied to the Scottish Portrait Awards without really expecting anything to come from it, and when I received a call from the organisers saying that my portrait was accepted – I couldn’t believe it! Being one of thirty from 400 entries, it really was one of those pinch yourself moments, even if that sounds cliché. I’m so happy to be involved, especially having seen the other portraits that are being shown which arephenomenal.

Self-portrait in Solitude was completed in my bedroom in the evenings, where the primary light sources were electrical. I find that painting at night is wonderful, because the whole world is silent and all that you are aware of is the act of painting and the urgency to create your portrait. The name reflects that, but also that when painting yourself, your own gaze is returned back at you. You cannot chat to others or move, as you are recording your very own position and expression. You have to shut up and stare at yourself, it’s quite a strange thing. It’s an enforced silence.

I was eligible because I was born in Aberdeen in Scotland, furthermore I am going to the private view in Edinburgh with my mum who studied at Edinburgh College of Art with one of the jurors, so there are added connections, which make it even more special. My Scottish ties are important to me, even if I was not brought up in Scotland, I feel an affinity with it and so being in the exhibition is a great honour. I look forward to seeing the other entries in the flesh and open my own mind up to what portraits can be.’

The exhibition dates are:

Scottish Arts Club

Saturday 3 November to Saturday 1 December 2018

Open Tuesday to Sunday 14.30 to 17.30

24 Rutland Square, Edinburgh EH1 2BW

Glasgow Art Club

Monday 21 January to Saturday 9 February 2019

185 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4HU