Mirror Mirror of them all...
Updated: Apr 24, 2020
More than a project, this is the very first moment of reflective thinking of a creative director in the making. At least that I am aware of...
I actually ended up editing this on a train on my way back to Southampton, after a long day offsight meeting with a client. After 3 large coffees, more than 100 miles (via train and not via bike as many of you would have thought), here we are, me sitting on a train with a lack of wifi (despite been in one of the most advanced countries in the world) writing this new piece of blog - and most importantly, this milestone of my artistic development (which most likely is running in parallel with my personal one).
When I was assigned to this project, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to do, like exactly who I wanted to be after graduating from this MA. I had clear vision of why I applied to this course, and how I would see myself as a creative human which skillsets spans across imaginative thinking, designing advertising campaigns, building objects and furniture, making (some sort of) art, and simply considered a weird person.
During my academic years, back a decade ago, I had as a role model Marina Abramoich.
I deeply admired her (and I still do) everything about her: her sensibility, the fact she was one of the very few creative and feminists at that time, her experiential and experimental way of making art.
On the premise of this, I knew right away what I wanted to do.
I knew my art, who I am, including the fact that every form of creativity product I deliver (on a conceptual or phisical level) is a mirroring experience of my daily activity. Let’s put it into a very simple way: if you look at my Artsy IG account @I.am.alys you will see that, somehow, any picture I take gets reflected into the food I make. I don’t do it in purpose and I actually realised quite recently that my mind does this process in a very natural way - by simply associating colours or images I see on a daily basis.
I recon this comes down to the fact my brain still a big mystery to myself: I hear voices, I am affected by a form of dyslexia, I am right handed but there are things I can do only with my left (from opening a tin with a can opener to blow my nose, from unscrewing a cap on a bottle to make my own signature, are just few examples).
Anyway, going back to my main idea - I wanted to become a sort of Marina, and create my very first own experiential art installation by creating a dress made by a mixture of broken mirrors and kitchen foil (the latter purely fro practicality as it would be way to heavy to wear and also quite dangerous to go around) and place the ME in the middle of one of the most iconically busy places in London town: Oxford St.
That is also one of the places as a Londoner, I hate the most as I am surrounded by all sort of energies, frenetic vibes and this makes me feel very uncomfortable. (Maybe is just a sign I am getting old and grumpy too). Anyway - that on a metaphorical level it'd have represented my idea of Mirror Mirror because, I am who I am, do what I do, think what I think, as result of my surroundings.
And that would be simply and in total honesty my way to represent it via MY artistic way.
But one day I woke up and I reflected. That wouldn’t be Me.
Or again, not totally me.
That would be, again, just a reflection of ME. That would be ME reflecting years of admiring Marina’s work. That would reflect partially me, like an object with light.
And there I got lost. Actually, I'd say confused.
All my certainties of becoming a new Marina Abraimovich, a new experiential, provocative artist,…it all fall out of the window.
That idea of ME failed into many pieces. All my certainties and believes got all of the sudden broken into millions of pieces. At some point I became a broken mirror.
And that is exactly when my Mirror Mirror project begun.
I was broken so I had to find a broken mirror; simple as that.
Now, let’s face the practicability of it: where on Earth I can possibly find a broken mirror?
When I started the Mirror Dress Project I replied to an announce on Gumtree. This girl was giving away 50+ CD in Charing Cross. It was 11 at night. I did remember waking up and feeling like a girl at her first day at school: extremely excited to going and collect at lunch time a great amount of unwanted CD from a completely stranger. Sounds normal right? I must admit, she thought I was the strangest between the two of us; once we met her curiosity took over and she couldn’t refrain to ask me why I need random CDs. I explained to her about my idea of a dress made by broken CDs.
Anyway, coming back to the mirror pieces, that was a completely different challenge. I contacted the Council where I live and, as much as they tried to be helpful, they advised I couldn’t attend any local landfills due of the harsh safety regulations. (I will later find out why…).
I then spent the next couple of days researching and exploring options, from randomly exploring London’ streets in the hope to find unwanted mirrors, to actually buy myself a mirror and then break it.
During this research, my interest (and my google) navigated through unknown seas where I found discoveries extremely fascinating regarding legends and myths about mirrors. Specially broken mirrors.
Mirror Myths, Legends and Facts
The concepts of the soul are often associated with mirrors, which results in a wealth of superstition surrounding mirrors. For instance, breaking a mirror causes seven years of bad luck because the soul which shatters with the broken mirror regenerates every seven years (old Roman legend). Mirrors also have a strong connection to spirits. Mirrors are covered when some dies, because according to some superstitions, a mirror can trap the soul of the person who dies.
Broken Mirror - Is Breaking a Mirror Bad Luck?
People often think that breaking a mirror may bring you bad luck for 7 years. Mirror superstitions, probably evolved from the time when the first humans saw their reflections in a pool of water, believed that the image in a water was their actual soul and to endanger it would mean risking injury to the other self.
An ancient myth was that mirrors have magical powers, including the power to foreseen the future and are thought to be devices of the Gods. Thus breaking a mirror would terminate its powers, the soul would be astray form the body and misfortunes would be brought upon the one whose reflection it last held.
It was the Romans who tagged to the broken mirror a sign of seven years bad luck. The length of the prescribed misfortune came from the ancient Roman belief that it took seven years for life to renew itself. If the persons looking into the mirror were not of good health, their image would break the mirror and the run of bad luck would continue for the period of seven years, at the end of which their life would be renewed, their body would be physically rejuvenated, and the curse would be ended.
In old times, mirrors were not cheap and they were low quality and easily defected. In order to avoid negligence it was told that breaking a mirror bring seven years of bad luck. That was simple scare tactic.
A variety of remedies are available to break the spell of misfortune. The Romans are also responsible for little known measure for avoiding the curse useful for anyone who breaks a mirror. The luckless who accidentally break a mirror, and does not wish seven years of ill-lack, must take all the pieces of the mirror and bury them in the moonlight, or take all pieces and throw them into running water, or pound the broken mirror into tiny pieces so that none of them can reflect anything ever again.
Some other remedies include lighting seven white candies on the first night after breaking the mirror and blowing them out at midnight in one breath, while another is touching a tombstone with a broken piece of the mirror to avoid the bad luck. Perhaps the easiest counter-remedy is to make the sign of the cross by a five-dollar bill, but what is to be done with the five-dollar bill after that it is not known.
Infinity Mirror - Types of Infinity Mirrors
Since the invention of modern mirror technologies, a large effort was spent into inventing not only new build materials that could enable mirrored surfaces to be placed in new kinds of environments and products, but also new ways the mirrors can be used for art, fun, and aesthetic purposes.
One of the most famous and easily found examples of such type of mirrors are infinity mirrors that are used as a decorations, art objects in museums or art exhibits, entertainment objects, parts of furniture or home decoration or sometimes in most mundane places such as shopping halls, barber shops, beauty salons, public spaces and elevators.
The infinity mirrors work on a principle of placing two mirror surfaces so that they can bounce the light that is caught between them seemingly to the infinity. The infinity mirrors usually come into basic forms. First is large set of classic mirrors that are set to face one another, enabling users to enter into the part of space where their reflection will be shown in both mirrors, and the bouncing of their reflection from one mirror to another will create very interesting looking effect of infinite reflections that are shrinking back to the distant infinite point in the middle of the mirrors. Most commonly, “ceiling to wall” infinity mirrors can be found in clothing shop dressing rooms or amusement centers.
“Only by glaring into the depths of one’s own reflection can we find our true selves. It is here where the mirrored voices of our souls speak and can be heard.”
Paul Morabito, Mirrored Voices: Emerging Poets Anthology
The name comes from mirroring the two words soul and cube, combined together.
EbucLuos is born from the combination of Ikea’s box Lekman and pieces of an abandoned broken mirror. Every single piece has been glued individually onto each internal surface of the box.
A multicolour LED light strip has been added at the end to give the user a multisensorial experience involving chromotheraphy.
Many aspects of humankind’s explorations are ignored, neglected or discarded. Color medicine is one of these neglected items. So let me do the honours to introduce you to it.
Most systems induce vibrations indirectly, but there are a few in which the vibrations are used directly upon the body, and chromotherapy is one of them.
Babbitt, Ghadiali and Azeemi revolutionized to the development of chromotherapy and their ideas were carried out by other researchers. No controversies were found among the theories presented, in research work conducted in any area of the world.
They conjecture that color is a quantum state of matter. There are other quantum states such as charm, beauty, flavour, tenderness, etc. These quantum states are linked with each other via ‘glucons’ and form intermediatory energy fields known as ‘quarks’. Quarks, if condensed, produce bosons, a fifth state of matter.
Everyone should have heard – at least once that we are surrounded by an aura or energy field that radiates distinct colour and vibrations. The aura fingertips your soul and reflects your goodness, wellness, mental stability, maturity, emotional/inner turmoil or peaceful fulfilment. More of each of these qualities, peace, wellness, stability, maturity and fulfilment may become your ever present precious possession by the application of colour’s power in our daily living.
That’s where my purpose of this project will continue: creating a series of EbucLui (plr of Ebucluos, from Latin) where people can immerse their head and 'find themselves' or cure mild diseases like SAD.
And there is also a challenging experience to be add to it: have you tried to stare at yourself in a mirror for 10 minutes or longer?