Maxine Peake

oil on canvas

76cm x 61cm


"When the Lowry initially approached me to be painted by Jonathan, I said no, as it seemed a bit vain to have my portrait painted. In actual fact, I didn’t reply to the request for two weeks, thinking it wasn’t for me, something other people do. However, I came to realise that what Jonathan does it not about vanity, it is about something more – encapsulating a person, with all their various facets, in a rounded way.
I actually found sitting for the painting a really enjoyable process, almost like a therapy session. You find yourself opening up, as Jonathan asks questions while he paints. You are also quite vulnerable in that position, letting yourself be observed.
It felt a great privilege to go through the process, to be pictured in this way. I am used to being captured on screen, which can be fleeting, so it feels very special to have something permanent.
It is also fantastic for the portrait to be shown at the Lowry, in my home city, to which I feel very connected. Salford is so prominent in the cultural landscape of Britain, with its abundantly rich tradition of art, music, theatre, and so on, and many of our most important creative people originating here. I feel it is important that Salford continues to make a statement culturally, and it is wonderful if I can be part of that."
Maxine Peake, 2014