Taking Part in Personal Relations


Personal Relations
An international touring miniature-portrait exhibition


Curated by hARTslane (Tisna Westerhof and Cristiana Bottigella, London, info@hartslane.org)

Working Timeframe

  • 6th -16th December, 2016, exhibition in London at The Cello Factory
    PV Friday, 9th December 2016, 6-8pm

  • 25th February – 29th March, 2017, exhibition in The Hague (The Nederlands) at Pulchri Studios PV Saturday, 25th February 2017, 15:00-17:00 (ONLY FOR PARTICIPATING ARTISTS)
    Vernissage, 25th February 2017, 17:00-19:00

  • 29th April – 4th June 2017, exhibition at Mirror Gallery, in Vicenza (Italy)
    PV Saturday, 29th April 2017, 6-8pm

Confirmed participating artist associations:

  • UK: The London Group (London):
    Contact: enquiries@thelondongroup.com
    Venue for the exhibition: The Cello Factory, Waterloo

  • The Nederlands: Pulchri (The Hague):
    Contact: Marieta Reijerkerk  (mail@marieta-reijerkerk.com)
    Venue for the exhibition: Pulchri Studio, The Hague

  • Italy: (Vicenza) This is Not Art (thisisnotart.eu )
    Contact: Alessia Camera (questa.non.e.arte@gmail.com)
    Venue for the exhibition: Mirror Gallery (mirrorvicenza.wordpress.com)


In a time of global political anxiety, where national identities and borders are reinforced in the name of security and guarantees, Personal Relations intends to create unexpected and appealing international cultural bridges and to foster a sense of unity and collaboration alongside artistic excellence and innovation. The project aims to achieve this by curating the production of a collection of new works the size of a mobile phone created by artist members of different international artist associations.

This is an international touring exhibition where the large collection of miniature-portraits will attain something far greater than the sum of its parts. The project is not intended as an exchange but as a unique body that grows thanks to the contributions of each artist and organisation collectively. As the miniature portraits were originally made and often given as a political gift to a king or ambassador, the project also aims to strengthen international bonds on an artistic level. Over 150 artists were invited to respond to the history of the miniature-portrait and its attempt to capture the identity of the subject to create an intimate dialogue with the viewer. The smartphone screen also echoes the miniature-portrait, and has become the natural home of the 21st Century portrait, playing a treasured part in many people’s lives. The miniature-portraits will be presented in London at The Cello Factory, in December 2016. The touring exhibition will then travel to The Hague (The Netherlands, February 2017), Vicenza (Italy, April 2017) and elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

In particular, the project aspires to:

  • Create opportunities for artist collectives to work together internationally under a unique and inspiring conceptual framework, where artists are part of a process and not only of a result.

  • Foster new work and ground-breaking reinterpretations of the classic miniature portrait tradition to reach a larger and more diverse audience.

  •  Present portraits as ambassadors travelling from country to country: what message will they bring?

  • Research the significance of portraiture in an era of fast portrait making (selfies/Iphone)

  • Create long-lasting international connections and networking opportunities and a platform for cultural exchange.Our ambition is to develop the project to include other countries/associations of artists globally, keeping the growing exhibition en tour



Each art collective will:

  • Forward the open call to their members

  • Collect and ship the artworks to London (or first venue in calendar)

  • Provide a venue for hosting the exhibition in their city for 10-15 days

  • Coordinate the exhibition display with the curators

  • Provide technical support & staff for setting up, invigilation, taking down

  • Organise a Private View

  • Promote the event nationally (using their own mailing list/contacts)

  • Document each exhibition with photos

  • Contribute a fee of £25 per participating artist*

  • Provide a complete list of artist, country, title, medium, year

    *Each association is free to decide how to raise the money for the project, either through a fee from participating artists or through grants application.



  • There are no restrictions on the interpretation of ‘portraits’.

  • Any technique is accepted (painting, drawing, print-making, textile,video, writing, ceramic, sculpture, photography, sound, collage, etc.)

  • 2D work should not exceed 10cm x 15cm (including frames). All forms are accepted (oval, rectangular, circular, etc.)

  • Works must be presented ready to hang with fixing at the back invisible to the viewer. The organisation will provide nails. Any other special hanging requirement must be provided by the artist.

  • 3D work should not exceed 10cm x 15cm x 10cm and mustbe presented ready for display wall mounted.

  • Video based works must be presented with the appropriate digital support (same size restrictions apply)

  • All the artworks should come with re-usable padded envelope (recommended) or bubble wrap, clearly labelled. Bearing in mind travel costs, this should be as small as possible.

  • Editions of art works are allowed.

  • Work must be clearly labelled at the back with artist’s name, tel. number, email, title, art collective.

  • Fill in the administration form with details of the artist and artwork.

  • We will take care to look after your work, however we don’t holdresponsibility for damage or theft of work during storage, display or collection. Artists should arrange their own insurance if necessary.

  • This is a non-profit making art project. We have no involvement and take no commission on sales of work. Sale transactions should takeplace between artist and buyer.

  • In case of sales however, the work cannot be released until the touring of the exhibition is completed.

  • Personal Relations Accommodation Arrangements
    To encourange participating artists to attend the international PVs of this project, we are setting up a ‘airbnb’ artists exchange accommodation scheme to keep the costs down. Artists who would like to attend the PVs abroad and would like to make use of this free accommodation scheme or can provide a room, bed or sofa, please inform your contact person of your art collective, who will send us a complete list.  We would like to thank all the artists who will open their house. Not only this will keep the costs down but it’s also a nice opportunity to network and exchange.



  • Making and maintaining contacts with the other art collectives
  • Writing the open call for artists
  • Designing and implementing a webpage
  • Producing the e-invite and printed invites
  • Writing the press release
  • Promoting the project internationally
  • Contacting international cultural supporters
  • Coordinating the exhibition display with the art collectiveS
  • Presenting the project during the opening events (in Europe)
  • Fund-raising
  • Develop the project further


  • Design and print a catalogue
  • Make a Video documentation of the whole project
  • Appoint a graphic designer
  • Expand the simple website into one with more information for each participating artist
  • Appoint a PR/marketing freelancer
  • Invite a representative from each art association to each exhibitionopening
  • Develop the project to include other countries/associations of artists in2017



Cristiana Bottigella & Tisna Westerhof are a curatorial team, co-founders and directors of hARTslane, an experimental art project space in South East London (www.hartslane.org). They have curated many successful international art projects, including; ‘Deptford Stories’, ‘Silent Movies’, ‘Greetings from New Cross Gate’ and ‘The Venice Pavilion in London’