Initially inspired by mask wearing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this collection explores the mask as a wearable artefact heavily laden with cultural, political, and psychological meaning.
Plague doctor’s leather suit was the key inspiration of this plastic mask. Its beak can be pulled in and out, which brings amusement for wearers.
Cardboard Mask’ combines the sharp edges found in ancient armor with geometrical shapes abstracted from human facial structures.
The ‘Shame Mask’ exaggerates facial features by adding long tubes to the eyes and the mouth. The messy pigtail hair represents a madness caused by the great shame.
The ‘Translucent Mask’ references the colorful Bandari face covers which were developed to mask recognition from slave masters looking to trade pretty girls. Islamic flower patterns have been cut from the tracing paper to further highlight the idea of ‘masking’ beauty.
Some people believe that wearing masks can protect them from Covid-19. In ‘Plaster Mask,’plaster has been added to mask’s surface to give it an extra layer of protection. In actual fact, plaster will dissolve when it is damped by liquids such as spittle (a key factor in spreading Coronavirus). This piece explores the question of whether masks protect us from the virus?
Masking can be a process an individual chooses to change or hide their natural behavior in order to protect themselves from social change, social pressure or being abused. Masking is also an action that can be used to erase personal issues or bad experiences. This piece highlights that the masking of Covid-19 may also be ‘masking’ other political issues such as global warming and Brexit.
The funeral mask of K’inich Janaab Pakal was the key inspiration for ‘Plastic Mask’. It focuses on the simpler lines found in funeral masks as well as the commonly used greenish colour palette.
Gold traditionally symbolizes status and value. In the early stage of Covid-19 the price of masks rose sharply, as does with gold in times of crisis. This piece questions the motives of the mask traders and the making of profits from this global disease.
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