The art of distorting facial expressions known as ‘Gurning’ The English Dialect Dictionary, defines the word gurn as “to snarl as a dog; to look savage; to distort the countenance,” while the Oxford English Dictionary suggests the derivation may originally be Scottish, related to “grin.” In Northern Ireland, the verb “to gurn” means “to cry,” and crying is often referred to as “gurnin’.” Originally the Scottish dialectical usage refers to a person who is complaining.
Gurning contests are a rural English tradition. By far the most notable is that held annually at the Egremont Crab Fair, which dates back to 1267 when King Henry III granted the fair a Royal Charter. The origins of the gurning competition itself are unclear, and may not be so old, although it was described as an ancient tradition by local newspaper the Cumberland Paquet in 1852.
The competitions are held regularly in some villages, with contestants traditionally framing their faces through ahorse collar — known as “gurnin’ through a braffin’.” The World Gurning Championship takes place annually at the same crab fair in Egremont, Cumbria. Those with the greatest gurn capabilities are often those with no teeth, as this provides greater room to move the jaw further up. In some cases, the elderly or otherwise toothless can be capable of spectacular gurns covering the entire nose.
This Gurning wannabe is certainly showing potential . Thats whats great about creating a portrait. Many of my portrait sessions are unstructured so that I can respond to anything spontaneous.