Makenzie O'Connor

Self Portrait

The first piece in a series of blind contour drawings inspired by Joan Linder's observations of her kitchen sink. A four day long recording of my reflection as I woke up every morning.

This piece developed from looking at how spaces define our actions. I chose to focus on spaces with mirrors, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Particularly in the dorm setting, we are faced with our own reflection when we wake up every morning, and we are pulled away from whatever internal ideas might be developing in our minds, to external ideas about our facial features - positive and negative and in-between. Mirrors are placed above every sink nearly forcing us to look at our faces, leaning in closer inch by inch to asses the progression of a blemish or criticize the unforgiving growth of hair in unwanted places. As humans, we all have certain physical features that help us survive, eyes, nose, mouth, skin, so why does it matter what our means of sense and survival look like?

Regardless of what the countless influencers of body image may be, I wanted to see how I could change my own image of my face. Is it possible to change what we see when we look in the mirror - how much is within our mind? I used the style of blind contour drawing to represent how little - or how much, if we look at expression - our faces communicate about ourselves. Blind contour drawings don’t rely on a perfect rendering of the subject, and they use lines in a singular way that differs from traditional renderings.

This piece is a start to what I had in mind. Moving forward, I would like to draw other parts of my body and also incorporate a the reflective surface I’m using to display how the viewer views the piece.