SARAH HILLOCK: Mirror Test

PRESS RELEASE

SARAH HILLOCK: Mirror Test
Aug 12 – Sep 7, 2021

Diehl Gallery 

presents

SARAH HILLOCK: Mirror Test

08.12.2021 - 09.07.2021

Opening Reception: Thursday, August 12, 2021 • 5–8 pm

155 West Broadway, Jackson Hole

 In an effort to keep our community safe, we will not offer food or drink, and masks are required in the gallery. Thank you for your understanding. 

 

The title Mirror Test refers to several elements that went into the creation of this body of work. In part, it is a reference to the journey we have all taken over the past year, one which has been incredibly reflective particularly due to the isolation that came as product of the pandemic. My personal journey of reflection has brought me closer to self-understanding and self-love. It also refers to the time spent contemplating my subjects and their unique characters in an endeavor to create pieces that reflect an individual with personality. More esoterically, the title refers to a test used by scientists to determine the level of sentience of certain animals.

The Mirror Test, as used in the scientific community, seems unfair in some regards as most animals have no context with which to understand the functioning of a mirror, nor can they be judged on the same strength of optical sense as humans. While humans are highly visual animals, a dog, who relies mainly on sense of smell, may find more self-recognition in a scent than in an image or other visual stimuli. Despite these differences, through a myriad of tests, it has been shown and demonstrated that most animals are self-aware to a degree. The Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness is an important document to those of us who believe that the rights and freedoms of beings in the natural world go hand in hand with the rights of all people to have a healthy life and a healthy planet.

Portraits can often feel like mirrors in an Alice ‘Through the Looking Glass’ kind of a way, both self-referential but also strange and other. They provide the viewer with an opportunity to look into a face the way one might look at their own in a mirror, to gaze directly, unabashed. This is an exciting prospect and a beautiful gift. As a young artist I was deeply excited by figurative studies, and I practiced portraiture above all else. I was taught that the angle of the subject’s gaze is an important cue to the viewer about how to read the character in the painting. For example, if the subject is looking directly out from the frame, it denotes dignity or defiance and draws the eye of the viewer directly to the eyes of the subject. Looking into the eyes is a very equalizing and humbling experience. Through these works, I hope to share my sense of compassion towards my animal friends with my audience, as well to share the power that comes with contemplating another being, human or non, deeply and empathetically. 

                                                                                                                                                     - Sarah Hillock

Come meet live Raptor Ambassadors from Teton Raptor Center!

This exhibition will benefit:

 

For more information about the TRC CLICK HERE