In Front of the Mirror

10/2/13 – Inspired by Carrol Jerrems, Butterfly Behind the Glass, 1975

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to apply the makeup and face paint in front of the bathroom mirror. I didn’t realise how hot and humid it was outside so I just locked myself in the bathroom for a couple of hours. It’s quite strange when I look at my own reflection in the mirror with all the makeup on, on the other side there’s another person, another version of myself staring back at me.

The makeup appropriates the Mexican sugar skulls via black and white photography that allows me to realise that I have a skull hidden beneath a layer of skin, just like everyone else really. Basically I am using the shape of my own skull as the canvas, it’s actually strange to realise that I have painted a skull on top of another skull. When I look into the mirror, I see two different skulls, one that is internal and one that is external.

The makeup provides the realisation that one day I will eventually die, one day I will be buried into the ground to decay and disintegrate, it’s all a natural process of life. The image is inspired by Carol Jerrems, a contemporary photographer who explores “women’s liberation” in the 1970’s and “social inclusiveness for street youths” as referenced by the Monash Gallery of Art.

There was one photo in particular that captured my attention, “Butterfly Behind the Glass” features Red Symons from Skyhook applying makeup in front of the mirror. The juxtaposition between the two faces does create an interesting effect and the photo also portrays a level of movement especially in Symon’s gestures and facial expressions. I was drawn to the dark makeup around the eyes and the cheekbones, in a way the makeup does remind me of a butterfly.

I am also interested in the way Symon’s is looking at himself in the mirror, in fact Jerrems’s photography is visually interesting! I decided to appropriate Jerrems image with some makeup brushes, eye shadow and liquid eye liner; I hope to develop my technique and style the next upcoming weeks. It was way to hot to even walk outside, so I decided to execute my idea within my very own bathroom.

Carol Jerrem’s a Photographic Artist, Monash Gallery of Art, 2013, Accessed 18/2/13,

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