This is an exercise I struggled to start. It felt as though so many things needed to be resolved before I could really begin.
Finally, having come to some kind of conclusion with my Humbrol experiments I attempted my first painting on 3-D which actually came out really well in terms of what I had wanted to achieve.
My intention was for the uncanny to come through in this work by using the compact mirror – a symbol of femininity – to express something more sinister. I wanted the external nature of the mirror to have a 50’s cute feel. I used colours to suit that feel and painted love heart sweets on the outside. However, the love hearts are deceptive – they too are sinister in their message. One says ‘kiss me’ and the other says ‘kill me’. They correlate to the image on the mirror’s inside.
The image I have painted inside the mirror is that of the Angela Johnson that was on death row for the murder of 5 people. I have painted the face of this person so that you can line your own eyes up and see yourself reflected as her. (The eye area is unpainted). I have then painted her mouth for the ‘kiss me’ part – it is meant to be confusing, the lips looking attractive when taken out of the context of this particular Angela Johnson’s face – but they are taken from the image I have of her so ‘ought’ to bring about a feeling of repulsion rather than attraction because of the acts she was involved in.
I do have a number of other mirrors to extend this project – I want to think further about simpler ways of portraying the face so that it isn’t so heavily painted, and also how to utilise the mirror more effectively. I would also paint the face in more 50’s cute pastels so that the colour belies the darkness of the person I am painting. I also need to work on finding other ways of presenting words on the outside of the mirror. I imagine having a range of mirrors with words like ‘angel’ or ‘killer’, ‘dead’, ‘yes’, ‘no’ on the outside and use appropriate Angela Johnson’s on the inside.
Definitely something for me to continue with and explore.