Eleanor Macnair: Eyes Wide Shut - Photographs rendered in Play-Doh [One Man Show]

The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

[Robertson Davies]


Eyes Wide Shut continues my eccentric journey through photographic history. Since I began Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh in 2013, I have found myself drawn to photographs containing certain objects or themes - interested in what is the same and what is different between each of these images. I hoard these image files to recreate in Play-Doh at a later date.

This exhibition focuses on photographs where the subject or subjects have their eyes closed. The idea stemmed from two different thoughts. The first is that it is very often it is the eyes in a portrait which convey the most expression and engage the viewer. It was a personal challenge to see if it is possible to convey emotion in a portrait with the eyes closed.

The second chain of thought started a couple of years ago against the backdrop of the Brexit vote in the UK and the election of Donald Trump in the US. Technology means can see things instantaneously on the other side of the world, and believe we are aware, informed, see and know what is going on - but our eyes are wide shut.

The idea of our eyes wide shut seems more relevant as each day rolls past. I am not sure how serious nor political one can, or should, be when discussing Play-Doh pictures but my hope is that this exhibition acts as a simple visual representation of collective indifference to difficult thoughts. [Essential for every creation is imagination with eyes wide shut.]

Eleanor Macnair