I have lots of new ideas running through my head and I have spent the entire weekend jotting them down and making lists, researching online and deciding what the focus for my new work should be. When I was working on my domestic pest series of embroideries I started to look at dust mites and this led me onto dust masks. I then started to consider what is a mask? What do we use them for? When did they first appear? What are they made of? Are they purely for performance?
Of course we wear a mask on our face, though certain cultures use them on other parts of the body! The main reason we wear masks is for protection, entertainment, disguise or performance. Masks can be functional, decorative, symbolic, scary and even sexual. There are many reasons why masks have been used throughout history and still are today. Masks have been used for centuries in rituals, ceremonies, theatre, folk festivals and for practical reasons. They are magical, powerful, spiritual, fearful and even joyful. Masks continue to be popular in today's society because of the power and mystery surrounding them. Would films like Halloween and Silence of the Lambs have worked without the use of a mask, or their characters been as memorable? The same goes for the Phantom of the Opera, would a Phantom without a mask have been as spine tingling or compelling, I don't think so!