100 Portraits of Ava by Karen

100 Portraits of Ava by Karen​

From May to September 2020, Karen took part in the 100 Days Project Scotland 2020 to practise making art. 

What did Karen do?

Karen Currier took on a bold challenge for her 100 Days Scotland Project in 2020. She created one hundred portraits from a single reference photograph, choosing to utilise only the mediums and materials that she already possessed.

The selected photo captured a tender moment between Karen’s daughter, Ava, and one of the family’s cats cuddling on the sofa. Although, the cat didn’t feature in any of the portraits. The photo was taken during the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

For Karen, this project was an opportunity to explore the possibilities of different mediums, materials, and techniques, which she had not allowed herself to do before. Some of the portraits took minutes to complete, some took many hours. To Karen, some of the portraits felt like cheating to keep going through the 100 days, created using digital tools with little skill required or accidental portraits found on materials used to protect other surfaces.

With experimentation came a mixture of results, thoughts, and feelings along the way, including joy, frustration, admiration, dissatisfaction, pleasure, surprise, boredom, peace, and love.

Although many of the portraits did not bear a close resemblance to her daughter, the joys and sorrows of experimentation created a collection of portraits that were unique, meaningful, and reflective of the love that Karen has for her daughter. Through her exploration of different mediums, techniques, and materials, Karen was able to make the process of creating a portrait more enjoyable and meaningful for her, as she experienced the beauty of the unknown.