Self Portrait UK


Self Portrait UK is one of Media19’s flagship projects and the forerunner for many of our cross-platform initiatives.

Partnered by Channel 4, the National Portrait Gallery and Arts Council England, Self Portrait UK invited people of all ages to create and send in their own self-portrait and become part of a major touring exhibition that provided a real insight into the eclectic mix of identities from across the UK.

'I have green eyes and great legs' Katie Bennett for SPUK

\’I have green eyes and great legs\’ Katie Bennett for SPUK

Self Portrait UK kicked off on C4 with a series of well-known people creating their own self-portrait using a range of styles and approaches. From traditional painting and drawing to music, singing and visual presentations, including: Jon Snow (C4 News Journalist); Jodie Kidd (Model); Jenny Agutter (Actress); Miranda Sawyer (Journalist); Mina Anwar (Actress); Jon Bird (Founder of Big Issue); Lord John Taylor (Conservative Peer); June Sarpong (TV Presenter); Shay Given (Newcastle United Goalie) with young apprentice Ben Smith; and Toyah Willcox. A final series highlighted 12 entries to the campaign that best reflected the range and diversity of approach and talent from across the nation.

After receiving thousands of entries, a panel of judges selected the most revealing 100 to create a touring exhibition. Starting at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the exhibition toured to major galleries in Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Manchester. Images from the exhibition were also seen on the London Underground at Piccadilly Tube Station and all over the Tyne and Wear Metro system in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.

Exhibition at Picadilly Underground station, London

Exhibition at Picadilly Underground station, London

Self Portrait UK also initiated and supported many educational initiatives across the country from schools arts projects to publications, articles and debates raising issues around self portraiture and identity. It has featured widely in national and regional press with images featuring on the front cover of Guardian supplements to international publications with the British Council.


Self Portrait UK Gallery.

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