‘Mirror Mirror’ is dark, it’s really dark but it’s also incredibly light. It’s inspired by ‘Snow White’ but the original version that was horrific in comparison to what we all think we know. That’s what inspired the ‘Storyteller’ works from the start, just how dark the original versions were that we were read as a child.
So, what you see here is the second of four chapters, it was written in reverse. Chapter four was ‘High Ho’, written in 2015 where you see her at her worst. Where all of the results of her actions are laid out in front of you in this abandoned church but there is still this hint of innocence there to give you this sense of empathy towards the character that you can’t see. The third chapter, 2018 ‘Fear Is How I Fall’, you see her within the Prince’s castle with everything that she loves around her but sadly still with her demons that are creeping out from behind the curtains, from the walls. The battles are still there and will ultimately see her falling and failing.
This is chapter two and shows the point where she has been saved, the seal has been broken from her coffin and she’s been set free by her Prince and by those that are trying to support her around her. That’s what the animals and the hints of the dwarves etc. symbolize. It’s a very, very beautiful image. The apple tree is dying and gnarled but there’s a point where it’s come back to life and it’s blossoming and it’s reaching out and touching the coffin, coinciding with where the dove is which is something that has always been used within my work for an incredibly poignant and personal reason. It shows that impact of someone, whether that is someone that you can physically see or one’s spirit that can make such a dramatic difference.
It’s everything that’s about the battles that ‘Snow White’ faced with her demons that raged within her head, as well as physically, whilst others are trying to protect her. The line ‘the struggle within, you seal your own coffin’ is from a ‘Metallica’ lyric that was on whilst I was consumed within the concept of the picture. You listen to a song on repeat to keep you where you need to be within it. This scene, this whole concept of ‘Snow White’ is someone who is genuine, who is wonderful, but someone who has got such intense demons that ultimately lead to her downfall but with these characters around her that are desperate to keep her where she deserves to be.
The wooden cottage in the background represents that industrious nature of the dwarves that are working so hard to protect. You have the animals coming out to surround the coffin. In complete contrast between the beautiful young deer and the wolf, you can look at it two ways. Is there a threat there or ultimately is it trying to protect? The all-seeing eye of the owl, again there is a conceptual thing there with seeing the dangers and trying to warn against.
The key part of this image is the mirror. This concept of who is the most fucked up of them all, that is crucial as it shows how ‘Snow White’ is battling the constant demons within, where it’s a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character effectively and what that does is reveal that actually there is no evil Queen, that it’s not a separate character, that instead it’s a trait, a split personality. That evil Queen lives within ‘Snow White’ and it’s her demons, her paranoia, her lack of self-worth that can lead her to making these decisions that she will ultimately fall with. The closer you look at the image the more you can see this battle with darkness and light. Hopefully from knowing this concept behind it makes the tiniest of detail incredibly poignant and powerful.
This picture really does personify why ‘Storyteller’ is so incredibly powerful and key for me, taking me back to years ago when the original chapters where created, it’s certainly a marker and it just shows why I am an artist, why I create what I do. It’s how I talk; it’s how I scream and probably for others it’s a lot easier to listen through looking.