More about ‘that’ Mask

I have been asked often – since the pandemic – did I make this mask featured here because of Covid Times?

It is a good question because the answer is no, I made it in 2015 as part of my early investigations into armour. It’s made of tracing paper – I can’t believe it’s still relatively in one piece. So I can categorically say it was made Before Covid by a good five years earning it a studio-style carbon-dating code 05-BC. I jest in part, but it’s a serious matter to catalogue delicate ephemera. I love looking at numerous examples of the clothing of war, grandeur and fighting in museums – weighty proof of battles won and lost. But the humble everyday domestic item that somehow survived but is / was infinitely more perishable? A scrap of fabric from a petticoat, a handkerchief sewn by tiny hands. These are the fragile conundrums for conservation – how, then, to digitise and share for study? Who authored these things?

My paper mask toys with this position. In many ways it is a mis-functional item – I keep intending to make it a special box. But for now, it sits on a “head”, formerly used by hairdressing college students. I pulled the head out of a skip and it frequently stands in for my focussing tool when I am setting up. It’s reassuringly labelled lice – free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *