The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
Muriel Rukeyaer

This mask making project developed out of a brief conversation and subsequent contact with Professor Jurgen Kalcher, a social scientist from Germany. He is involved in a project, called Dianoia, which is exploring the role of reflection, self expression and creativity in bringing about positive change in individuals. Art making is about engaging the creative spirit we are each born with and bringing it forth for ourselves and others to experience. Experience is the currency of change. It’s a short walk to see the connection between Professor Kalcher’s work and art making.

Why mask making? The history of mask-making is varied, but mask-making, within the context of a group is narrative, as well as autobiographical. The process of making the mask is a story about ones self, told to oneself. In a group, it is sharing the storymaking during and after the artmaking experience. Modern life has a tendancy to make time for reflection, self-discovery and self-expression a luxury, instead of a necessity. This workshop views artmaking as a necessity and uses mask making as a starting point on the continuum of creating our own stories, indivdually and together. The workshop begins with a short refection period, and moves onto an opening exercise designed for making connections with each other through personal stories. We weave a safety net of shared experiences that sets the stage for the artmaking process. The end results is a tangible, creative endeavor, that marks a place and time in our own stories we may have forgetten, buried or dismissed from our everyday business of living.


“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol

Lake Hope is a beautiful setting for any kind of outdoor activity and we had beautiful weather for the entire weekend, of which maskmaking was only one part of it.
We began our maskmaking with the weaving of a tapestry of shared memories, prompted by mementos brought in by each of the women. Placed in the center of a long table, each chose an object they did not bring and related a memory or story it prompted in them. Then, the person who brought the momento, shared their reason for bringing it. Often, memories and stories overlapped and inspired more conversation. We then moved into the technical aspects of maskmaking instruction, contstruction and the creative energy continued to flow. It was AMAZING! To see the maskmaking steps click here.


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