“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Oscar Wilde

'REFLECTING THE IMAGE' is a collection of portraits which are influenced by historical portraiture, popular throughout human history and created with a contemporary twist. They partially reflect the viewer, making observer and observed integral to the work, a commentary on celebrity and the culture of the selfie, a message further enhanced by the informality of the close-cropped compositions. The works present an abstract quality, as a series of pointillist dots when viewed up close, which emerge as a coherent image as the viewer steps back to take in the ‘big picture’. A member of BAMM, The British Association for Modern Mosaics, Claire Milner has an extensive technical knowledge as a mosaic artist and this has formed the basis of her more recent work in crystals. After visiting Ravenna, Italy, a city famous for its early Byzantine and Christian monuments decorated with stunning mosaics, including the splendid Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, she enrolled in a mosaic workshop which was to welcome a new departure for her work. Mosaic is an ancient art which has a rich history dating back to the third century BC. From the Greeks, Romans and Byzantine mosaics, to the Art Nouveau movement, it is now enjoying a huge renaissance in the 21st Century. In the early nineties Milner studied under the eminent international mosaic artist Elaine M Goodwin. It was soon after completing her training that she began incorporating the ancient art of mosaic into her work.

The 5ft x 5ft portrait of Marilyn Monroe, created with 65 000 Swarovski crystals in the private collection of Rihanna presents the entwined identities of public and private personas by hiding a secret painted portrait of Norma Jeane on the reverse, whilst the crystal mosaic mirror image of Marilyn Monroe, her famous alter ego stares out at the world. The portrait of the Queen was created in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee, with Swarovski Aurora Borealis special effects crystals so that from certain angles a diamond effect is presented and from others a definitive red, white and blue appearance as the crystals change colour. (Click on images for lightbox. See below for further individual image information).