A celebration of traditional culture

By AG Staff March 7, 2014
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Former AG Society trustee Sorrel Wilby is sketching 100 people in 100 days.

To honour all of the extraordinary people former AG Society chair and trustee Sorrel Wilby has met on her travels, she has pledged to spend 100 days in her studio completing 100 portraits.

She’s been madly creating detailed sketches of sages and saints, nomads, tribesmen and warriors. Currently 23 days in to the project, Sorrel and is posting images of the portraits she’s drawing and a short blog about each of her subjects on her website Understanding Identity.

“I am often struck by how connected traditional societies are to the earth… how connected they are to their families, their communities and their histories. I am in awe of their profound self-awareness and how crucial this sense of belonging is to their happiness and cultural survival,” she says. “Through this project I hope to provide an opportunity for all of us to reassess the “I” in IDENTITY, to honour the “U” in HUMANITY, and to acknowledge the role we all play in the shaping of each-others’ lives.”

Sketching people

Sorrel says of the above portrait”

“This is a wee toddler I met while filming in Papua New Guinea. He lived in a tiny isolated village on the coast, where his father and elder brothers caught Beche de Mer to sell to a foreign consortium. The income they derived supplemented what the family were able to grow and harvest on their land. 

I am a sucker for little people, and I will admit I fell head over heels for this one! I was completely enchanted by his eyes… They were so big, so clear and so innocent, and yet to reflect any real sense of suffering or fear or self-doubt. He knew who he was simply because, 24/7, he was surrounded by the unconditional love of his family.” 

More sketches

Ganga Giri Bab, India

Pe and Pego, Bhutan