Exploring the Realm of Maskmaking

Masks: we are exposed to them during childhood, use them during Carnival/Mardi Gras or in theatrical plays…Then we simply forget about them. Yet they are old, so old (see this archaeology article about Neolithic ‘Spirit’ Masks) and we are often not aware that they have been part of our evolution as beings. When I was an art student, I discovered African art and I fell in love with African masks, it was almost an obsession. Though I used to enjoy drawing and painting, I find working in 3D, shaping & sculpting with my hands much more satisfactory.

Fast forward many years of artistic void and creative blockage until a few weeks ago. I’ve been intuitively reconnecting to my roots: dusting, digging, unearthing & tapping into the once lost but merely forgotten body of knowledge encrypted in my DNA. Doing so I have become a ‘soul archeologist’ looking for the ancient universal language that lies dormant in the soil (the same soil that holds to bones of billions of people before us, keeping the records of the stories of their lives).

Here come the (forgotten) masks, they popped into my mind one morning, coinciding with what my Runes & oracle cards have said: the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. I wanted to be an archeologist (a medievalist) for a good part of my life, I’ve always been interested & drawn to ancient stones & burial sites, ancient languages & alphabets. What if the masks were my tool to crack the code and tap into the “Akashic records” of the dirt? If not, at least it’ll be a journey where art, psychology, mythology, language, intuition & spirituality meet. And I am more than prepared to open Pandora’s box…

“As in the long-ago campfire or longhouse ceremonies of our ancestors, when the dream breaks into the world from that unknown one, it brings with it another kind of illumination: the light of the mythic imagination. Seeing into the other world, using our imagination, requires a different kind of seeing – with the inner eye, the mind’s eye – that we have almost, it seems, forgotten how to do. And that is why, as the legends tell us, that the other world is the “bright world”. Its images, the myths forms, are lit from within, “self-luminous”. Simply to contemplate them kindles the imagination, and they are contagious, they may illuminate other human minds.”

 

From “The Mythic Imagination” by Larsen

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