I found some big photographs of faces in a magazine and was intrigued by their size. The 'nearness' made me feel slightly uncomfortable.
I tore them up to see what the effect would be if I rearranged the pieces. Would it make a difference?
On a base of gesso with watercolour I went to work with the two torn-up girlies. I puzzled with eyes, noses and mouths. Amazing what an extra millimetre upwards or sideways would do to the facial expression! I glued down the pieces and added some more colour. Yet, they kept bothering me and musing about the impact of body language, especially eye contact, I started writing around them:
“Isn’t it miraculous how eyes attract our attention? We check each other’s expression with an inborn mechanism to find out if we’re safe. Do we have to run, fight or lay low (like a puppy, paws in the air and soft belly upwards... “Look, I’m only little and completely harmless, so don’t hurt me. I surrender. You’re boss...”?
With our eyes we signal: I see you coming towards me , but I promise I won’t touch you. I will avert my eyes when your are near and pass you by on the right... Or in a crowded train when we are ‘too close for contact’ : My body touches yours but please don’t take advantage. I shall not make eye-contact, but look down to keep myself hidden and not embarrass you.”
I had started writing without a plan, just jotting down what came to mind. I know that this way of writing may tell you a lot about yourself.
At least it shed light upon my uneasiness... these faces were too close for comfort!
So... when you meet me by chance: please keep a distance J