Whilst traditional portraits often represent people who have power, wealth or fame, many modern artists are more interested in creating portraits of people who are relatively unknown, using them to raise awareness of social or political issues, or perhaps something they feel strongly about. An unknown sitter allows the artist more freedom to be creative and explore new approaches and techniques, making fascinating character studies without having to just produce a faithful likeness.

Through Our Hands artists will show that a portrait can be about almost anything, from a face to a bouquet of flowers. It is an open ended term which challenges the artists to take control over how they represent their subject, showcasing a variety of work and differing styles, discovering, experimenting and portraying an interpretation of others.  Some of the work at Through Our Hands involves self-portraiture and is often more concerned about the narrative of identity, and trying to capture something of the subjects inner spirit or creativity.

Have your work displayed in this Galley and join The Portrait Shuffle

Create a portrait for the Portrait Shuffle. Not only will your portrait be part of a wonderful display of creative work on display as part of the Through our Hands gallery at The Festival of Quilts,  but it will then be shuffled and you’ll receive someone else’s portrait in return – an original artwork to keep!
What’s more the funds raised through this scheme will be donated to Save The Children.
How do I get involved

  • Sign up for a Portrait Shuffle pack on the Through Our Hands website.
  • Through Our Hands will send you a Portrait Shuffle pack in the post
  • Create your portrait in any style and any media working on the canvas in the pack.
  • Post your portrait back to Through Our Hands (we’ll send you handy labels in the pack).
  • Be exhibited at Festival of Quilts!
  • After the exhibition, we’ll do ‘The Shuffle’ and will send you a portrait by someone else in the post.

The scheme costs £20 to be a part of and at least £5 of this will go straight to Save The Children.