Jill W Holder

Continuing the theme of collecting, this work looked at the origins of a whole, and issues surrounding the safety of that whole, when parts become separated.  It also focussed on the role of the public in the curation and maintenance, of both the individual pieces and that of the work of art.

First the manufacture of many parts of the whole in one place and at one time, and then the distribution, which although it retains some preliminary control, ultimately depended upon the whims and disposition of those who received the separate pieces.

Around this time Holder had, through painting, been looking at the accumulation of memories of a face;  those fleeting images, accessed over and over again, sometimes in their entirety sometimes as a few remaining scraps.  The first nine images seen on the right, are a small part of the memory of this experimentation.


Following on from this, the artist produced a large canvas with twenty four 10cm square images, blocked together on a white background.


500 PORTRAITS. Part I: The Manufacture. Created during the course of one week, five hundred 10cm sq portraits were painted by the artist and mounted on the walls of the small room in which she was working.  Progress was documented via time lapse [link soon].          

500 PORTRAITS. Part II: The Distribution. The resulting part-paintings were randomly delivered and gifted to 500 addresses in Faversham, with a note to the recipients and a plea that the work be displayed in a ground-floor street-facing window for the whole of the month of May 2009.

500 PORTRAITS. Part III: The Display had two main intentions.  Firstly the  incorporation of the whole of a town (Faversham, Kent, UK), as an art gallery; and secondly to increase ownership of original works of art in the town.


Click on any thumbnail to view photos


Exhibition of 500 Portraits: White Cube Gallery, Canterbury © Jill W Holder 2009

Part of the collection

of '500 Portraits'


© Jill W Holder 2009