What's it like to sit in an empty cinema and get to watch your favourite film while the artist Nina Mae Fowler surreptitiously takes video and stills with her cameras of you watching your favourite film in order to capture you for a portrait? All very meta, in the best sense.

Nina's latest project, ‘Cinema Portraits’, follows on from her major commission in 2019 from the National Portrait Gallery entitled Luminary Drawings, depicting nine directors (including Sir Ridley Scott, Sam Mendes, Ken Loach and Sally Potter) whilst they watch, and their faces are illuminated by, a film of importance to them.

‘The Cinema Portraits’ are created using the same process Nina developed for the Luminary Drawings project - lighting the sitter only by the luminance of the screen and immersed in the film of their choosing. During the sitting Nina takes several stills and preliminary sketches that form the basis of the final pencil and charcoal drawings. 

Everyman Cinemas have generously offered their picture-house venues in support of the project, where Nina joins you to work on the portrait whilst you watch the film of your choice in a truly special setting. Mine happened to be In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar-Wai, a film I hadn't seen in years but once in front of it, remembered every single magical frame and my mouth was mostly open with wonder at the beauty of it. 

In commissioning a portrait, 20% of Nina's fee will be donated directly to two charitable causes; East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH), and Afghanistan Urgent Appeal, organised by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC to facilitate the evacuation of female lawyers, judges and women’s activists from Afghanistan.

You can find out more about this project and the charitable causes at:
@thecinemaportraits and her www.ninamaefowler.art/cinema-portraits