Every face tells a story and portrait painting can be one way of sharing that story.
This year members of the Society’s Portrait Group decided to concentrate on having models from Lytham St Annes who “make a difference” to our community. The Group’s aim has been to celebrate the contribution these people have made to the town and, in its own way, to say thank you.
At the beginning of each sitting the models were asked to say a little about themselves and what they do in the town. Those stories have been diverse and impressive, with people working in caring professions, those volunteering for local societies and people who even put their lives on the line to help others.
The sitters have included a local medic who was awarded an MBE for services during the Covid pandemic, a volunteer with the RNLI, an ex-soldier who now works as a paramedic, and several people who volunteer for or run local charities.
When the Portrait Group holds its exhibition at Haven Road Studio in August the portraits will include these “people who make a difference”, with brief biographies explaining the contribution they have made.
‘We realised that making portraits is not just about art, it’s about telling people’s stories; making them visible and hearing voices – it really galvanised what we do and why we do it’
Admission will be free and opening dates and times will be posted on the outside noticeboard.
Some of our local hero portraits
David Coupe was absolutely delighted with his portrait, as you can see. He is one of our ‘people who make a difference’ to our community in connection with the Civic Society
Tony Cox from the RNLI is also in a Shanty band and offered to come to play for us.
Frankie Webster – an amazing young man of 19. Frankie is the grandson of the legendary 90 year old Mary Webster and the son of Paul Webster who has also sat for us and, interestingly, worked for Delia Smith on all her books. Three generations – a keen way of future proofing the society’s work!
One of our most moving and almost heartbreaking experiences was with a man called David, who is an ambulance driver and paramedic support. Previous to this he had done tours of Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s always been in service to this country in one way or another, but he said he felt so honoured to be recognised in this way – he said that many like him felt invisible. This was Diana’s portrait of David, which both he and his family loved, as did we. His wife and daughter came to meet Diana who kindly gave it to them. They too are now keen to sit for us.
Zanetta, who has an amazing life story – she now runs a successful local business with her husband and has 5 children!
Sameera. A portrait by our extremely talented veteran ‘Val’ who still comes along to the Portrait group at the age of 93 despite both sight and hearing impairment.