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Velvet Light

A series of photomedia installations that explores‘the space in between’ , using a combination of photography and sculpture. This is an going extension of research that Tara Gilbee has developed around the body and environments of public and private space.In this series the work is about the journey of light and sight. When you view an image [through a 35mm camera] you see it in a view finder after it has been reflected onto a lens and bounced onto a mirror. From the viewing frame the eye receives the light on the retina and then translates the information into reverse and through to the brain.

This passage of viewing, the corridors of reception, recognition and registration of understanding are all at play in the actual act of seeing. This is the physiological process behind sight, then there is the conceptual analysis that follows.

Tara’s current work with mirrors and photography in installation, translates both the photographic act of refraction and reflection,, as well as engaging the audience with the aura of illusion, that sight and seeing are not reality, rather a sensory process that can be manipulated either in the process of receiving the information or the conceptual understanding of that information.

The imagery in Tara’s work is of people in close relationship with themselves, by looking at their reflection and breathing on the mirror, the body’s boundaries shift, the internal becomes external.

In focussing the subjects on this aspect of being while observing their reflection, she asks them to glimpse at the conceptual/psychological relationship they have with themselves. The reflection is in focus [in the image] and the subject in the room out of focus. They can appear as if they are breathing themselves into life. The reflection in the mirror is what is captured and the real person stands witness. They do not look at the photographer or the audience, they are in relationship with their self. It is restrained distance that is imparted, a strong sense of viewing from behind a wall at an intimate moment. The image shows the person as fragments of reference, their profile says one thing about them, their relationship to their reflection another. The myriad of surfaces and angles at which we can be observed is an essence within the portraiture.

The images themselves are placed in an environment in which lighting and installation extend the concepts further. The audience is drawn within. The use of mirror and clear perspex creates illusory and refracted planes of surface, the images are not flat but insert themselves within the room, light bounces through the clear perspex images and reflects onto the walls like slides. The audience are not just viewing Tara’s representation of the subject, they also in looking at the work, see themselves within.


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