2 convex safety mirrors, each 18 inches diameter, each fastened with 2 wood screws on Sugar Maple with 18 inches between the two mirrors. 2 logs, each 13 inches diameter, each placed 30.5 inches in front of a mirror. Production Assistance: Seamus Hannan, John Miller, Giovanna Jager
Artist Statement: Mirror Vision 1787 – 2022 spans the distance between two convex safety mirrors installed in mirrored fashion on opposite sides of a tree along the path at Jennings Brook, and several mirrors located in the museum, including an early one from 1787. Mirrors are shiny surfaces. They reflect back to us what we otherwise cannot see. I created this installation as an invitation, a chance to reflect on how we see ourselves, each other, and our surroundings in the context of what lies behind us.
Please take a seat on the log and allow your eyes to relax in front of the safety mirror. You may notice that the mirror’s convexity creates a larger visual field. It allows you to take in more of your surroundings. This is comforting to your primal brain. Knowing that there are no threats to scan for, invites you to relax your eyes, and to calm your breathing.
When we are calm and see with soft focus, our surroundings suddenly become alive. We start to see possibilities to engage and connect on a deeper level. Let your curiosity guide you fearlessly, and let your eyes and hearts relax and wander. On your way back to the museum, having untethered your vision from preconceived notions, you may notice a freshness that expands further as you look for the museum’s mirrors – the wedding mirror, the first safety mirror, and even the bathroom’s vanity mirrors. Are these too part of the collection? If you want to play more, step into the gift shop where you’ll find a viewfinder. What will you do with it? Where will it lead? What will you see?
Erika Senft Miller is an interdisciplinary artist who creates collaborative multi-sensory experiences. Her work, set in unique physical sites, employs a variety of art forms that foster exploration and connection within the context of large-scale performance, paintings, and sculptures. Senft Miller has performed in the United States and Europe and has taught in universities, theaters, businesses, and community centers for over twenty years. Her work has been exhibited throughout Vermont.