I watched me watching it – it’s impossible to ignore it now.
I belief that the Mask is an icon for the interdependence of the forces which collectively comprise the Cosmos, and that it can illicit a shift in consciousness in whoever looks into or out of it. A Mask is not an easy thing to grasp, it is rather a challenge to comprehend that which feels Unknowable and Inscrutable. It is not beautiful, unless profound, disturbing, scary even, is beautiful. The Mask provokes many questions,and asking them of the Mask signals a courageous choice to journey into a world behind our world.
The masks I attend to merge the human visage with the shapes, textures and hues of natural habitats –– desert, tide pool, ice fields, meadowlands, wetlands, … . They are dream links to Nature, and as such, and by looking the way they do, I hope they will offer us a vision of ourselves as biomythic beings – that is, as spiritual creatures aware of our essential and inextricable bond with the natural world. I regard these masks as a thriving Tribe of Habitats upon the Earth.
Taking up to three years or more to complete, a mask grows, not as slowly as a coral reef, but nevertheless very slowly and with a persistent pace which is reflected in its detail. I would never try to devise a way to rush this process, the way each mask reveals itself to me. The careful pace, overlapped with contemplation, is an act of respect and reverence for the meaning of the Mask.
Techniques & Materials:
All of the masks are made of plaster gauze, modeled and sculpted over a wire armature which has been covered with wire mesh. The surface is embellished mainly with braids and beads, but also with a variety of natural found materials appropriate to each habitat. Archival glue is used to fix embellishments and fabrics. Most of the braids are simple ones of three strands of cotton or rayon thread. However, quite a few braids were created by Kumihimo, the Japanese technique of oblique interlacing, which is accomplished on a marudai (an upright circular loom).
The dimensions given for each mask in the collection include any pendant strands of braids or beads. The interior of the masks are made to accommodate the human face, and to rest on the crown of the head.