A Mirror Darkly is the latest project from Stockholm based designer Nick Ross. It was presented as part of Konstfack’s ‘Design Anima’ show which was shown at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during Milan design week 2013. The object is a physical expression of the possible use of ceramic bowls as domestic mirrors during the Stone Age.
The fact that human beings, unlike animals, recognize themselves in the reflected images of their bodies forms speculations on the role of the image in the development of the human psyche. One’s awareness of one’s own position within the physical world and the ability to imagine that position in relation to other physical objects is one which makes the mirror such an alluring object to study.
To start off I wanted to go back to a point where humans had just started to place importance on the ability to see themselves in some sort of reflection which they could control and contain in some form. There is actually no concrete evidence but some historians believe that small ceramic bowls may have been used to contain water which could be used as table top mirrors during the late Stone Age.
The fact that it cannot be proven also adds to the objects mystery. Is this a new object, or an old one reinvented? I wanted to take this notion and create a modern object which questioned its possible past and its relation to ‘the self’.
The projects title comes from the phrase to see “through a glass darkly”, (to have an obscure or imperfect vision of reality). The expression comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul in Corinthians 13 where he explains that we do not now see clearly, but at the end of time, we will do so.
‘A mirror darkly’ is part of Nick’s master thesis ‘objects Of ambiquity: an introduction into the role of the object mediator ‘ which will be shown during Konstfack’s spring exhibition which opens on the 16th of May. The project looks at a possible future situation where the designer has been installed as a creative mediator, working with historical records and artefacts within an institutions collection.
2013 30 x 30 x 10 cm Copper, Glass, Silver Oxide, Carnuaba Wax