Musings on art and life.
Have you ever read Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman? It’s the kind of book that starts a war inside your brain (well, it did for me anyway). I was torn between the sadness at the realistic ease of becoming invisible, and loving that London Below was such an independent and magical place, run by barter and bargaining. In Neverwhere, the main protagonist finds himself falling between the cracks by helping a stranger, but that’s fantasy, and it all works out in the end. Sadly, its not the case in real life, but there is a glaringly obvious similarity between Gaiman’s fantastic London Below, and real life homelessness- invisibility. Like Gaiman’s book, the art of Jacob Everett draws attention to those we often neglect to notice, and poses some uncomfortable questions with regards to how we see those less fortunate then us. In fact, we are forced to ask ourselves- DO we even see them?
Jacob has a very unique drawing technique. His accurate facial representations are gradually built up with layers of elliptical pen marks, done in small sections at a time. Each portrait takes about a fortnight to complete. A Ragged Road was started in 2012 when Jacob decided to take a new approach to his art. Until this point, he had focussed on well known faces of pop culture, such as Nelson Mandela, Jay-Z, Dave Grohl and Larry David, just to name a few (you can view some of these portraits here). In February 2012, Jacob decided to begin a series of portraits of residents of Inn Churches, a homeless charity based in Bradford. He began by taking photographs of, and interviewing the residents. Snippets of the interviews are included with the portraits, to give the viewer a glimpse at the character and the journey of the subject, and evoking feelings of compassion. His aim was “to immortalise the subjects, to confront the viewer with the oversize faces of people otherwise forgotten.” In my opinion- mission accomplished.
I would like to say a huge Thank You to Jacob for agreeing to let me use images from his website on my blog, and for answering my barrage of emailed questions.
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