|Mirror-Mirror 46x46cm oil on canvas|
A friend recently asked to use this image for a blog post she was putting up www.sophiebel.com , on make-up and her relationship with it. She inadvertently got where I was coming from when I painted this little 46x46cm oil painting, part of my Scheherazade exhibition 2013. I was thinking of fairy tales and storytelling for my show, and combined my obsession with mirrors and how we perceive ourselves or more to the point our relationship with a very one-dimensional view of our face, fixed before our eyes, in reverse, and reflected back with all the distractions of dusty light beams, sheen from the mirror surface itself, and its constricted frame to name a few, that it’s crazy to think that this is all that we are, or think, that this is all there is to us. We put so much into this interrogation, we can feel empowered and boosted up by what we see or in contrast we can hyper-obsess about what is not good or what is missing. A fraction of a cm here or a lift there and everything will be sorted. It’s such a deeply feral relationship… a face… It must be something to do with survival and bonding, so that we can, as helpless babies, cement our links with the one who will keep us alive. I was in hospital for a prolonged stay as a toddler and because I didn’t understand why I was there, I didn’t take to the experience very well, but I do remember a particular nurse or ward sister’s face. She was like an angel to me, her balanced, warm-toned face was my anchor and I still feel connected to her in a deeply spiritual way. So a face can be more than it seems. So maybe this is one of the reasons that we can use a mirror to either ground ourselves in a reassuring glance, or interrogate our image in a critical way to see whether we are worth the love that we all seek.
Whatever is happening I am truly hooked and will always use my mirror to reference and catalogue who I am. And as for make-up I think the make-up industry knows all, as by supplying us with the aids to conceal, draw-in, redefine and of course colour in …. We are all endlessly absorbed and fascinated!!!