Will You Look In The Mirror?
A simple request, yet how daunting it can be to face the truth that is reflected there. And how well do we see from the narrow field of our own perceptions?
Photo shoots are an exciting exercise in trust and surrender. Allowing yourself to go with the flow and trusting in your instincts can often yield surprising results and revelations.
The image captured in this photopolymer gravure etching was one of the last to be taken in a photo shoot that had me scrambling back and forth from the camera to a mirror as I attempted to capture some enigmatic double reflection shots. Working intuitively and almost blindly, I surreptitiously arrived at this composition that, upon first viewing, immediately struck a chord with me. I was captivated by the light, the expression on my face, the angle and prominence of the hand held mirror. Upon further ‘reflection’ I realized this image told a greater story than at first realized.
It struck me that whether it is the viewer or the woman in the mirror; neither is getting a full view of the person. The woman is half hidden from the viewer and is in shadow. The light from the window behind her shows her reflection more clearly to her in the little mirror but being so small it also only gives her a partial view. So both do not see the whole picture and what they see differs in scope and clarity.
So it becomes not only a choice of whether to look in the mirror but what mirror to look through. Why does the woman choose to look at herself through the smaller mirror instead of looking up to see the larger reflection? Why is her robe open, yet she has placed herself in a corner, half hidden behind her own mirror? Is she playing a game with the viewer, tantalizing him with the promise of revelations? Do her surroundings have something to reveal as well?
Why do I find such enigmatic set-ups so fascinating? I suppose the easy answer is that I like to create works for the viewer to ponder and ‘reflect’ upon. Or perhaps I am playing my own game with my viewers.
This etching will be one of a series of prints that will include this little red mirror in an upcoming show I am pleased and excited to present, entitled Mirror, Mirror, opening on July 30th at the Collective Works Gallery in Fernwood, Victoria. Will you come take a look? Opening reception starts at 7pm. Show runs until August 12.