Bethany Cartwright 

The Broken Looking Glass 

My work has always been formed around the concept of ‘Sonder’, the notion that everyone has a story; each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. There has always been a forensic feel to my practice as I have developed as an artist: gathering ‘evidence’ and articulating this across a range of medias including text, video, photography and textiles. ‘The Broken Looking Glass’ is a culmination of this process and a personal reflection into how I observe the world around me.  

"Through the looking glass" is a metaphorical expression, meaning: on the strange side, the twilight-zone, a parallel world. It comes from the Lewis Carol novel, ‘Through the Looking-Glass’, and the mysterious world Alice finds, stepping through a mirror. Because of a dissociative disorder, this is how I experience life. It is bizarre, unfamiliar, distorted, disconnected. The only indication I have of its existence is found in my photos, writings, my memories. It is a broken looking glass because it cannot be fully understood by others, whilst my work attempts to reassemble these pieces to form a true recount of the life I have lived and the things I have seen, felt and experienced. 

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