The Strand Gallery is delighted to be hosting Face Value in conjunction with the Katie Piper Foundation from 14th to 20th December 2016. With all proceeds going directly to the foundation, this unique exhibition will host some of the UK’s most renowned artists in collaboration with artist Gary Mansfield, who has curated the exhibition in support of the foundation’s ethos of creating ‘a world where scars do not limit a person’s function, social inclusion or sense of well being’.
30 Years Apart Gary Mansfield
Mansfield has, by his own admission, suffered a form of social exclusion himself as a former prison inmate and, inspired by this experience, has curated an exhibition with the aim of “exploring how society approaches the concept of identity, and the parts of a person’s life that contributes to this, including their physical appearance”. Following this aim, each artist will be donating a single piece of work that will then be manipulated by a third-party, altering the visual identity and therefore reflecting the spirit of the Katie Piper Foundation.
The exhibition boasts the names and work of the likes of Gavin Turk, Martin Creed, and the Chapman Brothers among many, including a donation by YBA Sarah Lucas of her piece ‘Tit-Bricks.’ The original donated works are all featured on the Face Value KPF website with their original value (ranging from £10 to £18,000), however once altered, the works will be up for auction, leaving it up to art enthusiasts and critics alike to decide whether the value is affected. Featured artist Jessica Albarn sums up the power of license given to the viewer: “Gary’s idea to re-work the art in a way that challenges our need to control the image, while simultaneously releasing you of the final judgement of its worth, is incredibly meaningful. And weirdly liberating. Whether the change is something viewers can live with will only be discovered once the artwork is unveiled”.
The prevalence of ‘image’ within the collection is made all the more relevant – not just to the foundation – but also to the culture of hyper self-awareness that surrounds us today, as a result of the increase in social media and the pressure to conform to what we see on our screens. This exhibition is not only hugely important in breaking the stigma surrounding how people with scars are viewed and accepted within our society, but the concepts explored apply to the lives of everyone living in this digital age. A truly worthwhile and rewarding experience, do not miss your chance to see the collection of works at the Strand Gallery, opening Wednesday 14th December.