Emotive Multiples in Mask Making: Combining Culture and Fabrication

The Masks Within Me was created via mouldmaking processes, and was inspired by the appearances of the Columbia style of Venetian mask; due to my Italian heritage, though not from that particular part of Italy, it felt like a fitting motif to use across this personal project.

I started out with the base being my face as a more literal representation of myself and built up the mask on top of that so it was clear it was just meant to be on this singular form – myself. Drawing from the typical style that goes along with the Venetian masks, I drew on the feathers and the Baroque-esque motifs when sculpting the mask itself. From the mould created I cast four multiples of the mask itself – each of these was meant to be identical in form but alternate in appearance. Keeping in mind the mysterious and whimsical feeling I wanted the viewer to leave with, three of the four colour schemes stick to more traditional colours, and each represents a ‘mask’ I put on in my daily life.

The fully blue mask represents how I am in my personal time. It’s darker, utilizing a lot of black as well, since most of my personal time is in the evenings. This mask is more mysterious, and most subtle and elegant than than rest, as it is my mask in my personal time where most people never get a glimpse at what I do. Red is a power colour, and shows ambition and drive. The second mask is decorated mainly in red, with a few yellow highlights to also have that correlation to a fire as a suggestion for passion. This is my mask for work – eager and driven to complete any task. The mask that combines red and blue is a mask for friends and family. It is brighter than the blue only mask, but less harsh and loud than the red one by itself. The gold feathers utilized on the left are not as whimsical, not do they appear as flight ready than the rest of the masks. They are more like a statue than plumage, showing an even more solid tie that keeps me grounded around them.

The final mask is untraditional in colour – it’s a bright, almost toxic green and yellow scheme, fitting to use for a mask that it meant to represent rebelliousness, quirkiness, and an escape from the norm. Just as it breaks out of the traditional colours it too holds its own meaning – while I am all of the masks above, I am also represented as an individual that will step out of my comfort zone to try and create something fantastical, with the blue calm to tie it back to myself no matter the end. In every instance the face itself has been left blank, the colour always focused around my eyes which are one of my most important tools as an artist and designer. It also reflects the metaphor of eyes being windows to the soul, as here all of the colour seems to emerge forth from the face in these places.

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