Sofa Portraits - £45

(worldwide delivery included during pre-order period)

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Sofa Portraits and 15 x 15cm print - £100

(worldwide delivery included during pre-order period - print unframed)


Sofa Portraits is now available for pre-order (expected delivery date October/November 2022) 


36 images


84 pp

202mm x 153mm Portrait

Four colour process throughout

Case bound in Windsor Elcho

Claro Silk (fsc) 150gsm

Type: Riviera Nights

All images copyright Colin Pantall

Text: Isabel

Design: Megan Gallacher

Colour Management: Tom Groves/Bread and Butter Studio

Scheduled Publication Date: October 2022 (all details above tbc)

Edition: 400

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I remember watching TV after school and when I was ill, I really loved watching TV  when I was little.
When I was very young, I watched Pingu, and the Teletubbies, Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men. Obviously I loved Winnie the Poo. And then films like the Jungle Book. Mostly I watched them because they were  quite comforting because I had a tendency to rewatch programs again and again and I was little. So when I was 6 I'd watched about 10 or 20 movies, but I’d watched each of them about  30 times, 40 times. 

Loads of kids do that because it's comforting. So you watch something again and again, and you know what's going to happen. There are no surprises. There's like stress or anxiety. And it didn’t take much to stress me out. I remember watching a Winnie the Poo movie where they’re in a dark cave  wen they went to skull island. That creeped me out. I couldn’t watch that. There was probably definitely stuff that I didn't like watching, but I can't remember it,  but there was definitely stuff that freaked me out.

Weirdly, I also have a lot of memory of watching the news in the evenings, but whilst you were watching it, but I don't think that happened that often. I think it's just one of those memories that's kind of exaggerated in my mind. I mostly just remember the Iraq war and Madeline McCann and the 911 memorials they had every September.

At the end of the day when I was tired or when I was ill, it was a comfort and the sofa was like a place of comfort. It’s the same as watching television, it's soothing being somewhere comfortable and being able to like lie down. It's like a second bed. It was a second bed. It was like Tracey Emin’s bed but for kids, with all the toys and drawing stuff of childhood scattered around. 


Isabel: July 2022

Isabel's Edit

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This is me sat up on the sofa. It was summer and it was just boiling hot. This is one where I'm wearing the black silk dress. It’s one of the rare ones I can remember being taken maybe because I think I'm a little bit older in those ones. I'm not a hundred percent sure on the timeline. So I have more memory of that period of my life than some of the earlier photos. I look sort of somewhere else. I look engrossed in the television and I look pretty unaware of my surroundings.  Sometimes I remember you the  photographs being taken but a lot of the time I was more engrossed in the TV than what you were doing. I wasn't that bothered as long as I could be in my comfort zone.  I didn't pose for any of the photographs or anything. They're all just  how I was watching TV.


I recognize myself in this. I haven't really changed that much in my face. I look pretty similar as I did when I was little and I can still recognize the expression I have there. It’s the kind of an expression that I still do now. It's a bit daydream, a bit out of it, a bit in my own little world. This is my little daydreaming world inside my head.

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I'm a lot more engaged in this one. I feel like I must have just come back from school and was watching television. I probably had a lot more energy. I like ones like this because I don't have a passive face in them. A lot of the pictures I like are ones where I’m thinking, where I'm more engaged and more animated. You can see me thinking. You can see the cogs turning in my brain. 

I also like this one because I can recognize myself in it. It has an intentness about it, an interest in the world around me, you can see my engagement. So it's  a different facet of me. It's different to the other photo where I'm more daydreamy. I'm more engaged with what's happening than the other one where I'm probably quite tired and kind of a little bit out of it.

It’s summer because I’m wearing the school uniform summer dress. I loved the summer dresses. I was excited when you were allowed to wear summer dresses again?

I wasn't a big fan of the normal school uniform to be fair. My school uniform wasn't bad in primary school but  as a little kid you're not that fussed, but when you get to secondary school school uniform is just irritating and you don't really have any control or individualism. It sucks all the individualism out of you. That’s its purpose. It’s meant one hundred per cent  made to prepare you for a corporate life.

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I look pretty ill.  I look so pale. This is good at representing another reason why I watched TV. The first one is the escapism, the second one is the engagement with, and the third one I'm just ill , I'm just absolutely drained.


I like it because it's another aspect of myself and it's got a different energy to some of the others, because the ones where I'm ill portray something different and something different within me. It’s much more sombre, but not in kind of like a depressing way, just in the level of expression you can see behind my eyes. I seem very drained and out of it.  

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I’m wearing the little velvet set in this one. I loved that set. It was given to me by Maddie. It was a hand me down. Her daughter used to wear it. It had a little matching cardigan and an off the shoulder thing. I probably thought I was very grown up and I'm sure I felt that when I  put it on I  was like, yes, I'm an adult.  Look at me. I’m sophisticated woman.


Most of the ones I've chosen because I like  the clothes, but really most of them I chose because I like the expression on my face. It’s all about the expression.

It's that drained expression, but I also look a bit more engaged in the first one compared to this one. This one my face is a lot more blank. The other one I'm  in my own world, but in a more expressive, engaged way.

I think this is  what I wore because I just like being dressed up. I always liked to wear like a nice outfit when I was little and I still do. Maybe not so much when I'm watching TV now. I'm not putting on a little velvet dress to watch TV. I'll stay in my pyjamas for that. But I always liked being dressed up when I was little and I still like being dressed up. 

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I think this is probably  one of, if not the best one. It’s on the wall at home so I’ve grown up with it.  I like the dress again, and the bruises on the knee from climbing a tree or something. It's another summer one and I’ve been outside and I’m tired and out of it. 

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I just look so sassy in this one. I look like I'm 25 and I’m sitting on the sofa with a coffee being like, “…and then basically this is what happened...”

I look in control in it, in quite a weird way when children think they’re adults. It’s a different mood. 

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This is where I'm really different from the other ones. I remember that dress. It’s a leotard. I wore it around the house all the time. But this is boredom. This is actually one of the few boredom ones. I just look a bit like bored, I’m done with life. I was realizing the reality of life. I was six years old and I’m thinking, oh no, I’m going to have to get a job soon. I’ve got two more years and then I'm being sent down the coal mine. The weight of life was upon me.


I remember being around 10 and thinking about being 13, 14 and seeing kids that age and thinking, wow, you're like so mature,  you are like an adult and then you get to 13, 14, and you don't see yourself as a kid but you're basically are still a kid looking back on it retrospectively. But when you are like seven, you think that 13, 14 is super mature and that your life is going to be so exciting and you'll be able to do stuff by yourself.

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Oh, God. I look a bit evil in this one. Again, I like this one because  I feel quite like I look quite like in control and kind of grown up in a weird way. The expression is quite intense. It looks like I am being a bit mistrustful of the TV. I'm being critical of it.  I’m using my critical thinking. 

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I look pissed off in this one, but also quite tired. Tired and pissed off. It was after school, so I was probably just done with school. 

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I’m wearing a tutu in this one. I look quite young. I look quite daydreamy in this one. I’m sitting on that side because sometimes it was the more comfortable side when the sofa was against that wall.  


It wasn’t a comfortable sofa. It came with the flat that we rented.I remember it having springs in it and it didn't have proper cushions on it as well. It had those weird really thin, square cushions which weren’t like proper sofa cushions. But I liked the sofa  despite the discomfort. As soon as you've got a place to lie down, you can get over a couple of springs, and you make  it your nest.

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This is me asleep on the floor. I’m sick, it’s probably a day off school, but I don't know why I'm on the floor. Probably because the sofa was so uncomfortable.  It was just quite peaceful. And I’m covered in the Teddy bear blanket. Yeah. I love the Teddy bear blanket.  It was  just comfortable. It wasn't super fleecy, it wasn't super kind of like fluffy or anything, but if I'm watching something, I always like to have some sort of blanket or duvet covering me. And we've still got it. It's a bit small for me now, though. It doesn't exactly cover me. 

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Oh God, I look like a little nightmare in this one. I look a bit angry. I think I'm just quite intensely engaged, but it's coming across as a bit aggressive.

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I'm young in this one, the one with the bucket. I remember being little and every year I'd get the flu and be ill. I haven't thrown up from having the flu flu for so long, but I remember being little and it happened every year and I absolutely dreaded it. I hate that feeling of needing to throw up and then throwing up. It wasn't even that bad. It's just that as a little kid, you like absolutely dread having that feeling and being that ill, but it was always a relief after throwing up.

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