Young People's Guide to Self-Portraiture

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchArtefact


In the summer of 2016, Anthony Luvera collaborated with a group of eight young people aged 16-21 years to research self-portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery. Out of this research they created a digital resource, the Young People’s Guide to Self-portraiture, as part of the NPG’s Heritage Lottery-funded project following the acquisition of Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s final self-portrait. Taking Van Dyck’s self-portrait and the gallery’s rich collection of self-portraiture as a starting point, they spent time reflecting on themes explored by artists through the self-portraits they create, such as gender, class, race, representation, and identity. They met and interviewed leading curators, archivists and staff; discussed self-portraiture together, and created illustrations, drawings and notes about their thoughts and reflections during the workshops. They responded by creating their own vlogs – short films in which they express their perspectives and ideas – and posed questions to engage other young people about self-portraiture.

The resulting Young People’s Guide to Self-Portraiture features the participants’ vlogs as well as short films with artists such as Antony Gormley and Gillian Wearing, and written material that expresses their thoughts, perspectives and findings about this enduring theme in art history. Throughout the guide, they invite young people to share their creativity and ideas. The resulting resources has been launched across the UK and are available internationally through the National Portrait Gallery. It enables young people to explore self-portraiture, and learn research, vlogging, and editing skills. The work not only had impact on the young people involved and subsequently accessing the resource, but also influenced the gallery's work on the representation of black people in their collection.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational Portrait Gallery
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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