Sunday, 3 July 2011

They do it with mirrors

Mirrors are a source of endless fascination. Starting with me in the pre computer generated days of filming where we were told "they do it with mirrors"  to the fairground halls of mirrors and the opportunity to see ourselves as distended, stretched, obese, squat shapes accompanied by shrieks of laughter.

I am beginning to dismantle the mirrors in my house as I get older and more reluctant to view myself but it is interesting to unpick the history of mirrors in a life. Why was a mirror the first joint item purchased in a relationship? Why are reflections so compelling? I am not sure I have the answer but I know that my first art gallery visits brought me headlong into paintings like Jan Van Eyck's Portrait of Giovanni Anolfini and his wife painted in 1434. The picture below which  is an enlarged section from the painting of the mirror behind the couple, with miniature mirrors round it, part of a much bigger picture. Then there was the mirror image from the pencilled sphere in a hand by Dutch artist MC Escher whose paperback book fell apart it was so well thumbed during my teenage years. More distortion here...

What about a move to current times and the world about us. I constantly work on the chance to photograph mirror images in buildings through mirrored windows or in rivers and canals like this Stoke canalscape.
And finally a quirky self portrait using an extendable mirror to pick up my reflection...still not over it then..?


  1. Fascinating. I love your photos, especially that last one. How did you do that?

    Mirrors can sometimes have an 'other worldly' feel to them too, like Alice in Wonderland or even more ghostly than that. You've certainly made me think here.

  2. An artist struggling to get out? I love your writing it makes me want to read more. Are you looking for the real you in your reflection, or for something better or different. Are you hiding or shrieking to get out?

  3. Ros - I saw the image and got my partner to angle himself with the camera - spooky isn't it!?

    Bridlestone - I hope I am an artist struggling to get out..have to see what you think of my old sculptures when I get to scanning them and blogging about them...