Eye to Eye is a summer Portrait Gallery Collection remix arranged by degree of eye contact – from turned away with eyes closed all the way through to right-back-at-you – as we explore artists’ and subjects’ choices around the direction of the gaze. The progression of visages is designed to prompt the senses, tapping into the endless subjectivity of being human. Where one viewer sees a subject’s distant stare as baleful, another perceives a fatalistic cheer; here’s a face in three quarter profile pondering past triumphs, or perhaps you sense a layer of barely-there regret? Does the full stare with smouldering countenance shock or seduce, or is it a bit of both? Whether sparking familiarity, empathy, diffidence or reverence, our summer collection show invites you to slow down – to see eye to eye with another life and imagine that lived experience. Eye to Eye features portraits of Natalie Imbruglia, Kev Carmody, Miranda Otto, David Williamson, a marble bust of Peter Garrett and many more, including several works new to the collection.
On display at National Portrait Gallery, Canberra until 16 February 2020