Sixteen – A Portrait of Faith

In ‘A Portrait of Faith’, Roberts creates a series of video portraits of sixteen-year-olds in their place of worship. His sitters (representing Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Baptist, Coptic Christian and Judaism) each pose for the camera for several minutes, remaining as still as possible in a similar fashion to mid-19th century photographic portraits. They are filmed in vertical format for HD plasma flat screen monitors and sized at a near 1:1 relationship between viewer and subject. Initially the portraits appear as still photographs, however, on closer inspection the viewer can see subtle movements in the sitter, such as a blink of the eye or tilt of the head. These long portraits become simultaneously mesmerising and unnerving.

Alongside the portrait each individual offers a short monologue where they talk about their current life situation, their hopes, dreams and fears for the future.

< Select the video icon found under this image to view the individual video portraits

The series was made as part of a major touring exhibition involving leading contemporary photographers who joined forces to present the multimedia project Sixteen, photographing sixteen-year olds across the UK. Funded by a National Lottery grant from Arts Council England Sixteen toured venues across the UK between 2019 – 2020, starting at FORMAT Festival in Derby.