It was once said that if you wait in Piccadilly long enough you will
see everyone you ever knew. There are many places in life we pass
through on our journey to our destinations, crossing points from one
place to another, but what do we leave behind? Is our presence a
temporary one that disappears like a reflection in the water, or is a
more permanent sensorial trace left?
My work uses the mirror and reflective surface as a metaphor to
examine the notion of transience and identity of place. Unlike a
photograph the reflective image is never ‘fixed’, so the image disappears once the gazer has moved away from the reflective
apparatus, reminding us of both our presence and absence from place.
The reflective image also appear at first sight to offer perfect representation of our physical self.
However the reflective image is reversed from left to right, and where the mirror is curved, concaved or of natural making, there will be a form of distortion in the reflective image. When you look in the mirror, what
you see is real in the sense that it is appears to be a simulacra of
yourself and your surroundings, but at the same time you can never
cross over to it or physically reach out and touch it.
The reflective image thus offers us a glimpse of that ‘otherness’. This work explores the ‘otherness’ of place, and asks whether there is
more to place than a geographical location, bricks and mortar. What
role do emotions, presence and transience play in this formation and
sense of place?
William is a Wivenhoe based artist, photographer and writer, currently studying for his MA in Digital Photography at London South Bank University. Artistically his influences range from Adam Fuss to
Harry Callahan and James Welling.