A project with full of colorful creative creations, represented with hand embroidery techniques – travelling in time around the globe. In the world of Masks.
Masks are found in almost all the cultures around the world. Wearing a mask represents something in a different way. Most of it are made from natural materials (wood, bones, seeds, plants, etc.), handled as sacred treasures, used for unusual causes on events that are typical for a region or period. Most of the time by wearing handcrafted masks and performing in it, picture some kind of spiritual presence, impersonating momentous events regularly. The traditions are passing from one generation to another by giving the importance of the details.
This project doesn’t want only to recall the traditions and find new designs. It would like to give a voice also to the phenomenon of anxiety and for the people who are behind the mask of internet and social media.
This is the most complex and most intricate series until now, since I have started to publish my embroideries. I would like to develop my skills throughout this project I wish to discover what I am capable of doing alone connecting these two things: embroidery and culture.
The inspiration comes from my main studies: Bachelor of Arts, where I majored in Cultural and Heritage Tourism and Art Trade. I am curious for cultures, ancient civilizations and their traditions, everything to learn about them. I was searching for a kind of characteristic that can be found in almost all the cultures and ages in a way, which means it connects us all. I wanted to catch this theme through a more entertaining filter.
This project is becoming all together in our present, a flow of information month by month.
Invitation for a travel, around the world
I am combining famous and less known masks from the pyramids to the jungles. I think it is a good thing to step outside of our daily experiences, views and discover something new and interesting. There are diverse ways to understand people from different cultures and it is an exciting process. Each mask will be represented with hand embroidery and each design tends to be a bit different from another in form, presentation, color, material or technique: painting, stitching, mixed media, carved elements, 3 dimensional constructions, etc. If you look at a mask, you certainly understand some basic information about the group of the people who used it and their culture: what colors were used, how intricate the design is, what kind of material it was made of – every small detail is relating to something important. You will see the diverse textures from the American continent until Australia, through Europe, Asia and Africa.
Cultural anthropology is one of the most interesting subject to talk about – the more you learn, the more you are able to understand. It is important motivation for tourism, sciences and our beliefs. I was trying to concentrate also on the UNESCO Heritage, which represents all over the world a list of projects, that support something with special cultural or physical significance.
In the same time, I will feature some contemporary masks and artists too.
This project is a work in a so called frame – a one year time frame, set up by a calendar that I have created, regarding to the time of the ceremonies where the masks are / were used. It is represented in a certain way, as an online exhibition – on this blog. I tend to prove my versatility and make a call.
Below is the list of links that contain information about one nation and the mask furthermore its use – and the description of the work process. I tried to choose as much nations as I could, from almost each part of the world because I wanted to get involved more people. I research for each project and prepare what I would like to illustrate. One of the best source I can use (because of the complexity of the project) was the Google Arts & Culture website with original information from hundreds of Museums around the world. Some cases I try to ask local people from other countries to tell me information first hand or sources to work with.
Use of the calendar and workflow
For this project I need continuous research and reading, preparation and planning to see what I am gonna do. For this reason the number of the custom orders in general are restricted. I set up a calendar with events where people use masks and this calendar will draw the timeline in this project. Not all the masks are connected to a date, few of the masks I just wanted to realize them because they are fascinating and they turn my imagination on. (I had to take time also for other projects too throughout the year; because of those I am belated with the calendar, but the designs are on their way.)
This is what I am trying to build up in a system and bring you some new information through my embroidery work and I hope I can pique the interest of each person who looks at it.
Practically the creating starts with sketching, then I find what I would like to illustrate exactly. Then I choose an anchor and I design the mask, accompanied with the typical motifs / places / buildings / etc. embroidered on patches / hoops. I am trying to stretch my abilities with all the modules of this project, I hope it teaches me new ways of work in embroidery / design and in mentality.
You are welcome to see this online exhibition come true in my Studio.
Next country coming soon!