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Brief Published: 9 Apr 2018

Mirrors Recreate the Wonder of Tech

John Nicholson

Australian artist John Nicholson explores the influence of digital technology in his latest collection of figurative mirrors, entitled Personal Avatars

The mirrored art works are constructed from perforated sheets of multicoloured mirrored plastic that are layered onto one another at varying angles. The resulting optical effect distorts the reflected image to create intriguing impressions of the surrounding environment. Nicholson’s collection uses colour and refraction to emulate the wondrous effect of digital screens, transforming mirrors from a functional object into an artefact of beauty. 

In response to an increasingly intangible digital environment, consumers are seeking out analogue and low-tech products to enjoy mindful moments of pause. The rise in human-centric design is a trend we’ve been tracking for a while (see Circuit S/S 19) and is a prominent theme in our A/W 19/20 Design Direction Captivate. However, minimal tech does not imply minimal interest, with consumers expecting the mystifying effects exhibited on digital screens to be extended into the physical world.

Nicholson’s Personal Avatars collection responds to the use of digital avatars in virtual spaces, whereby individuals can invent pseudo-personas online. The mirrors’ distorted reflections visually recreate the fractured nature of online identities in a real-world context, inviting the individual to question their relationship with the reflected image.

For further examples of designers employing colour to alter one’s mental state, read Immersive Exhibition Explores Chromotherapy and Partition Uses Colour Gradients to Influence Mood. See also the Presents for Presence section in our Gifting Update to read about how physically engaging gifts are being used as an antidote to tech saturation.