You Look Familiar is a captivating and diverse collection of portraiture from the British Council Collection. It features work from some of the most celebrated and well-known  names in contemporary British art, including Lucian Freud, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sarah Lucas, Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin and the 2017 Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid.

You Look Familiar celebrates 80 years of portraiture tradition in British art. The title of the exhibition, which nods to our instinct to feel close to the familiar, invites the audience to meet a diverse range of faces. Through the medium of portraiture we are encouraged to join a conversation about culture, society, identity and politics.

The exhibition leads us to reflect on how portraiture has changed over the 20th and 21st century. One of the newest works, by Morag Neil, features a smartphone, a device which is used to create the most ubiquitous of modern portraits, the ‘selfie’.  As we can now all easily create our own photographs, we have moved far from the notion of portraiture as an elitist tradition, and the visitors are invited to exhibit their own portraits in the virtual gallery by uploading their own selfies.

The exhibition was curated by Ulya Soley after an open competition to work with the British Council Collection to curate a new exhibition.  

The exhibition is fully accessible to all through a dynamic online platform.  It features detailed information including written resources and a selection of videos about the exhibition, artists and their works.  Accessible on all desktop and mobile devices, the exhibition is also available in special audio narration format for the visually impaired with the contributions of the Audio Description Association. Please see the photos from the launch event on 16 January

You Look Familiar has been ranked the first in Events / Culture and Arts Category and awarded the Best Microsite at the 16th Golden Spider Web Awards. It also received three Merit Awards in the Microsite, User Experience and User Interface categories at the Felis Awards. 

In 2017, the first digital exhibition 'I Dreamed A Dream The Other Night' won the 'Best Web Site' award at the 15th Golden Spider Web Awards.

Who is Ulya Soley?

Ulya Soley works as a collection manager at the Pera Museum and co-curator and editor of the museum's various exhibition and publishing projects. After studying Art History and Psychology at McGill University, she went on to earn a master's degree in 'Culture, Criticism and Curatorship' from Central Saint Martins.

She co-curated with Fatma Çolakoğlu the "Katherine Behar: Data's Entry" exhibition held at the Pera Museum and "Bring Your Own Beamer" video exhibition project and curated the exhibition Stereo-Reality as part of Proto5533’s emerging curators programme. Soley, a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), has published articles in print and online in publications such as PINE, UQ, The Believer Logger, Istanbul Art News and Sanatatak, as well as an online publication project entitled "Stimuli".