Thursday, 22 May 2014


I know that this module is supposed to be about exploring the qualities of the material, but something that keeps coming up for me is the idea of masks.

It started in my sketchbook, when I took the advice of my tutor to work on my drawing. I started with some drawing exercises from 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards 1979 HarperCollins.

After: Grace in the car
These exercises have certainly improved my drawing of portraits (see before and after below), but also led me on to doing a series of drawings of masks, and to incorporate the idea of masking a face into the photos I made of my samples.

Before - self-portrait

Mask - pencil on watercolour

Mask - paper collage

Mask sketches in sketchbook
This links to an article about the enduring interest of masked portraits. Also see the Elle article about Maison Martin Marghiela this month.

Dorothee van Biesen 'blurring the line between protection and ornament at Collect 2014.

I did some photos of myself with shadows and brightness in different areas to help me explore the shapes of faces, and also thinking of the shadow as mask.

Putting these photos up brings into focus one of the issues that the image of a mask could illuminate - how much or how little we show of ourselves in public.

Until now I have been very reticent, almost paranoid, about showing what I really look like on this blog. Or on the internet as a whole. While at the same time wanting to be sincere.

Ironically, it is a project about masks that has brought this into focus and made me finally put my face on the blog.

I still prefer the photo on the right, though!

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