The family portraits are really the next step in genealogy, a visualised family tree based on photographs of Lightfoot’s forebears. There was no image of Ann Thorn, so her face is an enticing blank canvas. I was thinking about how much information we lose through death – the exhibition begins with family from 1800, it’s surprising that there’s only one person who has no remaining documented likeness.
Making the ceramic forms and conducting the research, like all family history, was a labour of love, and would have grown the relationship between the artist and her ancestors, across time and space.
It’s the last day of the exhibition tomorrow – it closes at 4pm. It’s well worth seeing just to appreciate the strength and depth of family connections.