Much of my artwork is created from the soul as a way to transform feelings, thoughts, and emotion into a visual presentation. The interesting part is that my work is often interpreted in ways I never thought of or imagined myself so it often raises the question, “Are they reading too much into my art or did I subconsciously place that thought out there, not realizing it myself?”.
So with this particular recent piece, I actually started with one thought process…imagining that the piece represented the traditional idea of the masks we place upon ourselves either to hide our true intent from others or out of some fear of our true nature. However, in time, I started to realize that the piece had even more depth than I realized. That is, in life, we are also faced with the masks that people impose upon us. As the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. But it’s something that we all do out of human nature.
Let’s face it…we live in a world based on labels. If you’re able to afford the greater things in life, you might be viewed in many different lights depending on the individual. Some might think you’re a pretentious snob. Others might admire or even hate you for your achievements even if they were accomplished through hard work. Then there are others that might make assumptions that are completely off base. But the sad part is, when you start to place labels on people…you can in effect alter reality. That is, if your will is strong enough and you have the ability to influence this person…you can transform the mask you see into a reality.
Another issue with masks is the fear that we might not be able to escape them. As an example, I was always the class nerd growing up. Iwore thick and heavy glasses. I also had special shoes due to flat feet that were far from trendy…in fact, they looked like Grandma shoes. So I was picked on, and being a girlie girl that I am, I wasn’t the type to flight back. But in eight grade, we ended up moving to a completely different state so I got a fresh start. My parents finally got me contacts, and my doctors understanding the social implications of “nerdy shoes” said it was ok to wear something more fashionable with insoles. The funny part is that when I sent my eight grade class picture to friends back home…the change was so drastic to them…that some of them didn’t even believe it was me.
Throughout the years, I have evolved so much in my outward appearance that most people in my life think I look my best at 30, which is typically the age where most women to start to lie about their age. However because of those years of torment and abuse, I still have a hard time embracing the idea that I’m as “gorgeous” as everyone says. And in a way, it might be a good thing. Because many pretty girls often take their good looks for granted. And as such, when their beauty fades, they might face a mid life crisis not knowing what to do since that one special gift they had all those years is gone. So I guess in a way, masks are a double-edged sword. Sometimes they can help us, protect us even. But sometimes, they can also hold us back from living our true destiny. In which case, I would say a ritual is in order.
This particular ritual is inspired by a technique that one my yoga instructors would have us try ocassionally. And while you typically might think of yoga as a peaceful means to reach inner peace…the ritual is far from quiet and peaceful. However, it definitely helped us feel more energized and stress-free. And all it required was a clay pigeon and a flat cement wall.
But in context for this particular ritual in relations to masks, I would encourage you to either make a mask or buy an inexpensive one. And considering you’re only going to have one shot at this ritual…you’ll also need some old dishes or something along those lines that you don’t mind breaking to practice with. Then when you’re ready, find a quiet place with a flat cement wall that you don’t mind damaging, and practice the ritual…throw your practice “masks” with all your might and allow yourself to let go of those inner demons. It might take a couple tries to make it real…to get into the moment. But when you do, take your “real” mask and imagine with all your will that you are casting away that mask that hinders you from becoming the person you wish to be, the person you know you’re meant to be. No matter what the real issue is that is holding you back…if you put your heart, mind, and soul into it…anything is possible.
[Image available for sale upon request.]