The gilding technique that I have developed results in a murky reflection. Here the broken silver presents a misty, stuttered reflection that seems at once both familiar and alien. The sense of interruption is furthered by the by the looming obstacles of text, birds or flowers which float at the threshold between here and there keeping us from the union that would make us whole but at the same time maintaining a welcome barrier of protection from the shadowy forms lurking beyond. This reflection makes us work to find our likeness. We struggle to gain focus and surety of our inclusion in the composition as we emerge from behind the broken film of pictures and text.
The reflective surface of the looking glass implicates the viewer in the game with an invitation to perform in the imaginary space beyond the picture plane and so become embedded in the narrative of the painting. This reflective device contrasts the unhindered replication offered by the modern mirror, where the surface falls away to reveal an exact optical facsimile of ourselves and our surroundings - only in reverse. So accustomed are we with this backwards version of ourselves that photographs of our own image often seem alien to us. Our familiarity with this visual convention belies the complexity of its action. This renders the sharply reflective surface of the mirror passive in relation to its viewers; it merely confirms our expectations of how we inhabit the world.