Art Review: 31thirtyone @ Strand Gallery

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 87 months ago
Art Review: 31thirtyone @ Strand Gallery

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All photos © Matt Humphrey
It's not often you get to see actors un-made up and without flattering lighting (unless you happen to bump into them in Sainsburys), so the current exhibition at the Strand Gallery makes for fascinating viewing. Photographer Matt Humphrey set himself a task to shoot 31 portraits in the 31 days of August (he actually ended up with 32) in order to raise money for the charity Crohn's & Colitis UK.

We particularly liked the spontaneity of Nicola Walker's portrait, while the intensity of Toby Stephens's gaze unsettled us a bit. Doctor Who fans will be tickled pink to see Sylvester McCoy posing with his question mark umbrella, and also to find Noel Clarke, Paul McGann and Catherine Tate amongst the sitters. Underneath each photo is also the answer to a question about things that have taken guts to do, which prompts some revealing answers - and an intriguing insight into the relationship between Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack. We predict a certain amount of distressed meeping as viewers discover how close the world came to losing Benedict Cumberbatch when he was a teenager, followed by curses placed on Australian doctors called Doug.

You can bid for any of the signed portraits in a silent auction - just fill in a slip at the gallery or email - and 31 unframed prints of each sitter are available to buy via the website for £31.31. All proceeds from the sale go to charity.

31thirtyone is at the Strand Gallery, 32 John Adam Street, WC2 until Sunday, free entry. The auction also closes on Sunday. For more information see the 31thirtyone website.

Last Updated 03 November 2010