What are masks used for? Why do people make masks?

Masks are a language of pretense that allow us to exaggerate or hide emotions or feelings. We create moods and characteristics like happiness or sadness, comic relief or tragedy, Gods and demons. Masks often have more than one meaning.

People are often accused of using their faces as masks that hide or mask true feelings. In our world of pretense we convey a less than truthful image of ourselves.

My mask series use the Human face and color to reflect the elation or anguish of our planet. Representing the elements of earth, wind and water as human face has really been an exploration of form and color. Spending time on a small island like Jamaica and especially at this juncture in time (Jamaica celebrating 50 years of independence I was drawn to the beauty around me and to the resilience and passion of Jamaican people. This passion was embodied in the excitement of the Jamaican People as they watched their athletes in the Olympics.

Earth and Fire

Erath and Fire Tryptic

Masks are traditionally used in conveying exaggerated emotion and facial expressions. The mask series uses a limited pallet to highlight facial features and energy. Utilizing the color red and brown describe the passion, fury and violence of the fiery earth. Orange and yellow energizes the soul and enhances the creativity in our being. Brown characterizes strength and stability and white communicates goodness and perfection. The three paintings together deliver a powerhouse of energy and strength that lifts emotions. It’s about capturing that resilient energy of Jamaican people.

Earth Wind and Water

Earth Wind and Water

Masks may represent natural elements that affect human way of life and survival. We wear them in our celebrations and healing dances to draw the elements that bring life and healing.  This series when described as color symbolizes the blues as wisdom, devotion and tranquility. The greens create a feeling of good health, fertility and healing, Purples denote loving, kindness and compassion. These three paintings generate a consciousness of well being and security. It’s really capturing the beauty and awesome wealth of a rich island that is Jamaica.

Woman Adorned

Woman Adorned Mask 1

Woman Adorned Mask 2

You can purchase a limited edition prints of the painting in the Mask Series from the online store.

  • Subject Masks
  • Medium Acrylic On Paper
  • Year 2012
  • Size Varies