Transformation Mask

September 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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by Joan Desmond

This is one of my earlier mixed-media drawings.  It was inspired by the Kwakiutl Transformation Masks from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. The Kwakiutl dancers don the complex mask, with movable parts that can be opened and closed, for special ceremonies. It’s really two masks-one within the other. It is believed that dancers are transformed into the spirits represented by the masks.

My interest in masks concerns the human tendency to don personality masks to hide true feelings, or negative aspects of self. And how that masking manifests as conflicts in facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. There is always a hint of the hidden, no matter how benign the mask expression.

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