My painting of Kate McClymont titled “I am Watching You”, painted on an acrylic mirror, is a finalist in this year’s DMNPP on exhibition in Juniper Hall, Paddington, from Nov 2 until Dec 16.
As one of Australia’s leading Investigative Journalists, Kate McClymont continues to expose high-level corruption in politics, rugby league, trade unions, horse racing and organized crime. Her fearlessness, in revealing the activities of various criminals and corrupt politicians makes her one of the bravest individuals in this country and I initially wanted to portray her as a Goddess of Truth & Justice.
Aletheia, Greek Goddess of Truth, Sincerity and Disclosure, often depicted with the scales of justice & a hand mirror, seemed appropriate, especially as journalists are often described as holding a mirror up to society.
With Kate holding a hand mirror it was hard for anyone to see their reflection so the portrait has been painted on a full mirror so that the viewers cannot avoid seeing themselves, posing the question, “Is she looking at me?”.
I like to involve the viewers with my work and for them to have a silent conversation with the subject and, in this particular case dealing with corruption, for individuals to question their own integrity.
To add to the Trompe l’oeil effect the mirror is placed in a window frame to give the impression of looking through a window into the next room/gallery and the frame has been painted to match the windows and doors in Juniper Hall.
With people moving in the background it could also be seen as a combined still and video artwork.
An added bonus for the punters is that the viewers of this artwork get to see themselves in a painting.