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Tim Mara, Self Portrait with Family, 1980
Tim Mara Artist's Alphabet

K: Keyworks > 2. Self Portrait with Family 1980

back to the alphabet grid What do you see first, the image of the Artist or the images of his family members? How does viewing distance affect this?

How does the print relate to genetic science? Can art successfully explore scientific subject matter?

Why do you think the print is black and white, not colour? Would it be as effective with additional colour or would it become something else entirely?

What ages do you think the individual in the images are, what relationship do you imagine they had with Tim?

What other images have you seen which use an optical illusion, are there any historical or contemporary works that utilise a similar optical trickery?

How much do you think this print was inspired by the medium it uses? Is the medium the message, or does the message exist externally to it? Would you consider this work to have been produced from a cerebral basis?

Why do Artists make self-portraits, what is the significance of this?

What does the imagery reveal about the time it was created in and the Artists life?

Tim believed his family were genetic variations of one another in time, are you a genetic variation of your own family? If you were to use a similar approach of superimposing family portraits with your own what do you imagine you would learn about yourself and your family physiognomy and genetic make-up? What would your work look like?

How important is the scale of the work when representing figurative imagery? Are Tim's heads the correct size, and how would alternative scale affect our reading of them?

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© Text: Mark Hampson / Images: Belinda Mara
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