Samantha Clark (she/her )
An enquiry to the question: “Is it a mirror, reflecting a portrait of the artist who made it, or a window, through which one might better know the world?” –John Szarkowski.”
The true curiosity of intentionally utilising the mirror as a tool within my image-making, is an exploration of me seeing my place in the world as a human-woman, through a series of multifaceted and fragmented self-portraits. Most images are made within my North-East England hometown, Middlesbrough. I appreciate the immediacy that comes with the mirror, the direct instant encounter of oneself that is seen through it. By using the mirror, I have a sense of what my own ‘frame’ will look like before processing. 35mm film is used to make these images, I aim to construct and create a narrative of how I see myself placed in the world through reflected surfaces, ones placed purposefully in spaces and sites, but also reflective surfaces already placed within the modern world; it fascinates me how we are confronted by our existence everyday in the modern world through these surfaces. The works aim to highlight the relationship between the mirror and oneself and my ongoing curiosity of seeing ‘The Mirror as A Window’ into another persons world.
Series 1 – Coffee w Mel
Without mine and Melissa’s coffee trip back home in Series 1- (when it was safe), and her suggestion of going to the Transporter Bridge, and me intuitively bringing my mirror along – each project Series may have been different. So these are significant images because of that; they mark the beginning.
These works are apart of Series 1 yet take the approach of utilising the mirror within spaces in; my home, in the car with my grandad, shops and they experiment with black and white film.
Citation from my dissertation titled: The Mirror as A Window: Mid-Century American Women Photographers and Self-Representation:
‘When we look into a mirror, reflected is a reverse image of our-world and our-selves, we rarely see the mirror for what it is. It becomes invisible; since we don’t look at a mirror, we look through it, just like we look through a window. It is through this window, where we can meet and gaze at ourselves and see a version of ourselves that we might only know through brief encounters. So, when we see our reflection, we see into a reversed representation of our outer self. “Living in a world where we encounter mirrors and reflective surfaces our ‘inner self’ is necessarily convened, reminded of, and confronted by our ‘outer self’ on a regular basis”. – Leslie Robinson.
“A tiny piece of mirror is always the whole mirror” – words of Clarice Lispector in the book Agua Viva.
These works were exhibited at the Alternative Degree Show: Mid Wharf