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Mirror, Mirror
Group Show

4 days to the ending

25 Apr - 25 May, 2024

Statement:

Mirror Mirror, a group show curated by Soheila Sokhanvari and Kristin Hjellegjerde and Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Tower Bridge, brings together fifteen artists whose work explores the rich and varied symbolism of mirrors.

Featuring painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media and conceptual work, the exhibition examines how reflection can be used to evoke ideas around narcissism, truth, trauma and identity.///

‘With this exhibition, we were interested in exploring how contemporary artists are bringing their own symbolism to an ancient theme,’ says Sohelia Sokhanvari whose own interest in mirrors takes root in her cultural identity.

She recalls visiting the Shah Cheragh mosque in Shiraz, Iran where she grew up and being mesmerised by the geometric-patterned mirrors that decorated the walls while her childhood home was covered in mirrors by her father, who was also an artist.

In Sokhanvari’s miniature  paintings, mirrors create instances of doubling, to reveal hidden truths and to bend the viewer’s perspective.

Her sculptural works meanwhile use physical mirrors to not only evoke the language of Islamic architecture and devotional objects, but to also invite the viewer into the work.

Evie O’Connor’s paintings document her grandmother’s daily ritual of trimming her hair. Every day she sits in same spot in her kitchen and balances a pink mirror in the lid of her make-up box.

Presenting us with different angles of the same intimate scene, O’Connor explores comfort that this kind of vanity can bring. British artist Eileen Cooper’s portrait paintings also depict women holding or gazing into mirrors but what is reflected is more unsettling.

We glimpse not just the likeness of her subjects, but another version of the self as well as elements that are absent from the main image – details of their surrounding or, in Object of Desire, another figure.

The disconnect between the main image and the reflection creates a powerful sense of longing that contemplates the performance of identity as well as the expectations placed on women.

In a similar way, Sarah Maple uses herself as a conduit to challenge gender stereotypes. In the work, She’s Not Your Clone the artist appears alongside her mother and her daughter, all dressed in the same black suit and tie while a framed photograph of her grandmother is propped up on a chair beside them.

The image references Maple’s mixed cultural heritage while also questioning the ways in which our identity is shaped by others.

Ideas of doubling and the blurred boundary between the self and the other are also recurring themes in both Bertram Hasenauer and Jonny Briggs’s work.

For this exhibition Hasenauer presents a portrait in which a female figure appears twice, once in profile and once gazing directly out at the viewer.

While identical in appearance, the figure facing forwards is slightly less defined, as if she is gradually fading into the background – it’s unclear whether she is a reflection, a twin, or a spectre of a former self.

Briggs, meanwhile, presents a diptych comprising two identical framed cracked mirrors in which the viewer is confronted by their own split reflection.

The cracks, which are themselves mirrored, suggest an act of violence or a repeat accident while the skewed way in which the works lean in towards one, as if they have fallen off their fixings, alludes to the aftermath of the impact and perhaps, an attempt at a cover up.

Tim Head’s Equilibrium (1975), on loan from a private collection, similarly uses the mirroring to build a sense of threat. The monochromatic photograph depicts a square piece of glass balancing on the tip of a knife, which is reflected to suggest there are two knives pointing inwards towards one another.

Curator: Soheila Sokhanvari and Kristin Hjellegjerde

Artists

In this show

Soheila Sokhanvari, The Silent Mirror (Portrait of Forough Farrokhzad), 2024, 0
2024 | The Silent Mirror (Portrait of Forough Farrokhzad)

Soheila Sokhanvari

13 × 11.4cm

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