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Benjamin Britten Portrait

Artist Paul Harfleet was invited by ‘Imagem’ to create a portrait of Benjamin Britten to celebrate the centenary of the British composer’s birth. Paul Harfleet’s practice is primarily based on conceptual responses to a given subject matter so he approached this project in a similar way. In any portrait the ideal scenario would be to examine the face of the subject, Benjamin Britten died in 1976 so clearly this was not to be. As a result the artist naturally had to engage with his subject in another way, through the remaining images of Britten and his work, life and history.
In order to connect with Britten the artist sought similarities in his biography to seek commonality and access to this culturally prominent figure. Initial research revealed some arbitrary similarities with the artist: Both in the arts, both gay, both from the south of England. Both have tenuous links with horticulture, Harfleet with the pansy (www.thepansyproject.com) and Benjamin Britten who has a rose named afte…

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