MA Graphic Design & Illustration

Holly Ryan


My project ‘Familiar’ was developed from a previous long lasting topic of mine, ‘Back of Head Portraiture’. This topic was inspired from studying the film ‘Red Desert’ by Michelangelo Antonioni and his particular style of cinematography. It was during our group ideation discussion that I decided to broaden my ideas and challenge myself as this would be my final ever project. I wanted to continue portraying people in a unique way but move on from the very specific idea of back of head portraiture. During conversation, depicting family photos was mentioned to which I had an interest in immediately. By combining both portraiture and family photos, I could portray people I know in a very different light. My work progressed the inspiration of the artists I collected. I started with sketches and began my paintings when I felt comfortable with the compositions I was creating. I decided upon painting smaller sized canvases, for two reasons: I wanted to produce a vast amount of paintings in a small amount of time and I also wanted to make them quaint so that when exhibited they would be displayed like a family wall of photos.

Salma Hafez View All Students Elen Dixon
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