Behind The Mask
Somerset House has temporarily become home to a fantastic exhibition displaying portrait images of one hundred actors and actresses who have won or been nominated for BAFTA awards over the last 60 years.
‘Behind the Mask’ is a beautiful and thought-provoking collection of photographs captured by Andy Gotts MBE, who has specialised in portrait photography for 23 years. The exhibition is wonderfully extensive, dominating the entire West Wing of Somerset House.
The collection includes many subjects known to millions of people across the world, including Robert De Niro, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Helen Mirren and Helena Bonham-Carter. Each image was shot close up, creating stark appearances and allowing visitors to the exhibition an experience which feels very much like meeting the famous figures face-to-face.
The project has taken over two years to create. When visiting, I couldn’t help but wonder what motivated Andy Gotts into creating such a large exhibition; he travelled far and wide to capture the images, making the process very time consuming.
I asked Andy what his inspiration for the exhibition was. He told me that it was his passion for movies and love of actors’ faces that lead him to embark upon the project.
Though each shot has great qualities of its own, it is difficult not to have preferences as to which are your favourites. Personally, I really liked black and white photographs of both Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman.
“I actually love them all,” Andy told me. “These were my favourite one hundred shots from all the hundreds I have taken.”
As well as exhibiting at Somerset House, Andy’s images will be projected onto the BAFTA headquarters in Piccadilly on the 15th and 16th of February, which is the weekend of the EE British Academy Film Awards.
‘Behind the Mask’ is open to viewing at Somerset House until 7th February, from 10am to 6pm, daily. Part of the exhibit will then be moved to BAFTA headquarters, with some of the other photographs will be on show at Asprey London, the venue of the Official Nominees Party.