A Portrait Of... Andrew Motion


20141230We go into the artist's studio to follow portrait painter Fiona Graham-Mackay as she paints the former poet laureate Andrew Motion.

A personal, immersive journey exploring art unfolding, this is an insight into the private encounter of two acclaimed artists, and we listen in to what this process is like for both the painter and the painted.

It's a unique relationship, a little like being in the therapist's chair - the painter stripping away the layers to reveal the true likeness of her subject, the sitter under the microscope, exposed and studied. Fiona Graham-Mackay shares the secrets of the portrait painter as she captures the sitter on canvas; the sitter reflects on what being painted reveals and contemplates the prospect of being immortalised in oil.

Fiona Graham-Mackay has painted hundreds of portraits, including Prince Michael of Kent, Seamus Heaney and Lord Carrington. In all her sittings she has always been fascinated by her conversations with her subjects and continues to be amazed by how people open up in ways that surprise even themselves as she paints them. What is revealed goes beyond anything you might expect in an ordinary interview.

Produced by Eve Streeter

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.