Saving Faces: portraits by Mark Gilbert
- By: Kiran Somani
National Portrait Gallery, London, 27 February until 21 April 2002, open daily 10 am to 6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursday and Friday, admission free
Leeds City Art Gallery, JulyAugust 2002
Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, SeptemberOctober 2002
One million people in the United Kingdom incur facial injuries each year. Some people have cancer affecting the mouth; many are born with facial disfigurement. Some require corrective surgery.
Some of the images in Saving Faces are unsettling: they offer an insight into, and force reflection upon, the emotional and physical difficulties associated with facial disfigurement. The viewer is compelled to consider the impact that facial deformity has on an otherwise, or previously, normal life. The fascination and even repulsion shows us, particularly as medics, how we react to deformities, whatever their cause, and to acknowledge the extent to which we use appearances to judge people.
The exhibition is