Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Horniman Museum , London

The African World continued ....

The detail that has been carved into this mask is incredible, at first sight it appears to be a mask with people carved above it . However, when you look closer more faces appear in the wood, this could be recreated in the hair, adding small objects that may only be noticed when someone is really looking hard excites me . This gives the viewer a treat but also allows me to know they have understood my concept and truly looked at the image. 

Ejumba Mask - used in male initiation cermonies in Casamance region of Senegal, these woven masks are rarley seen in the western world . Ejumba masks are kept extremley secret as the people of Casamance believe them to be very powerful . This could be recreated using crepe hair or even different materials shredded down, I feel it would be correct to only recreate this on a man as the history of the mask is male orintated 

Lady Gaga ???!! No its a traditional Abrus mask made from poisonous abrus seeds, created to give movement to mask instead of them being carved and rigid  . An amazing fashion statement in todays western world , even though it has been used for centuries in Africa. 

Another type of Abrus mask . A variation on the tradiontional posionous seeds, but this show how it has influenced tribal styles . scary to think that one seed could kill a person.
I instantly thought of Alexander Mcquuen when I saw the Abrus and decided to look into his masks as most of them have been created for catwalk shows . 

The simple make up works perfectly with the mask, although I know this would be too simple for my brief. I am going to take inspiration from these mask and draw some designs that could be quickly replicated using a stencil or an airbrush. 

BWA Plank Masks -BWA are a farming community from Mali and Faso in Africa , they create these mask to promote the growth of fields and at funerals. The mask contain geometric patterns which they believe echos a rythm to the spirtual world, they also use black and white to symbolise night from day, good form evil , male and female.The masks also always contain an owl and a hornbill which are also thought to posess powers . The scale of these mask was immense to think that people wear these was unbelieveable it would be amazing to recreate something on this scale as a headpiece . I would also like to look at the work of cubists, as these patterns and shapes remind me of their work. 

This headpiece was a combination of so many different fabrics, and different types of wood , I could envisge this as part of my final images. To attempt to replicate this I would gather a selection of different fabrics with a varied amount of textures and begin attaching to a hat . 

Tswana Dolls , they appear to be in traditonal dress which have been created using coloured beads this would be an interesting acessory to the styling. These are made within the communities and are used as toys for young children, I like how the body has been wraped in string and the colour has been added in patterns not just one solid colour. The one on the far left appears to have a replicate Abrus headpiece, I find it so enlightening that these communities are inspired by there own ancestors and not influenced by the commercial western world .

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