A new exhibition at LJMU’s John Lennon Art and Design Building creates an ‘average’ face of The Beatles, and highlights the similarities of the Fab Four.
The exhibition also reveals the features of a ‘typical’ Merseyside male criminal, with an average face created from 30 police mugshots.
Using modern computer graphic software, the University’s Face Lab morphs individual faces and blends these together to create a final average image. Other average faces in the ‘Faces of Merseyside’ exhibition include doctors, nurses, musicians, actors, celebrities, artists and police officers, among many others.
Professor Caroline Wilkinson, Director of the Face Lab and LJMU’s School of Art and Design, commented: “Depiction of the Merseyside population as reflected by age, gender and occupation serves as a focus for examining identity – with the potential for facilitating a greater understanding of differences and similarities between people, and broadening our understanding of identity, appearance and society.
“It is the first time that average UK faces relating to occupation or interests have been studied in detail and this may be relevant to Liverpool due to the public interest in national identity, the recent European referendum, the creation of the Northern Powerhouse, the complex historical context of the city and its changing population.”
The exhibition takes place on September 1 and 2 in the Ground Floor Studio of the John Lennon Art and Design Building, on Duckinfield Street, off Brownlow Hill, and is open to the public, free of charge.
Face Lab is based in ART LABS, a LJMU research centre at the University’s School of Art and Design, where forensic and archaeological research is carried out along with consultancy work for organisations such as the police, national and international museums and archaeological institutes. Research conducted at the highly specialised lab relates to facial identification, craniofacial analysis and depiction, preserved bodies and facial animation. It is equipped with the latest technology including laser scanning and 3D-printing as well as modelling, texturing, animation and haptic reconstruction software.
Professor Wilkinson began her professional career as a medical artist and has an MPhil in Medical Art and a PhD in Facial Anthropology. Her work is exhibited in over 30 galleries and museums worldwide and she is a keen advocate of art-science collaboration and is committed to increasing public awareness of this cross-disciplinary field. Her research team has been involved in high profile cases such as the craniofacial depiction of Richard III, Mary Queen of Scots and St Nicholas.
Alongside the exhibition on September 1 and 2, the John Lennon Art & Design Academy is hosting the seventh ‘International Conference on the Image,’ previously held in Spain, Poland, Germany and various locations in the USA. The conference partners include Face Lab, Institute of Cultural Capital and Liverpool Biennial.