Sunday, 31 July 2011

Snow Black and the reopening of the National Museum of Scotland (whats behind the mask?)

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth," Oscar Wilde.

The Cramps-What's behind the mask

I start most mornings stumbling around the kitchen making tea wearing a night shirt and an eye mask pushed up onto my head, those who have lived with me will be able to vouch for this, I just can't sleep without one, and with one, I can sleep ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! it all started years ago when I watched Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys and fell in love with her turquoise mask and crazy earplugs

I also love the scene where she is shopping and steals a mask (though i'm not condoning or encouraging theft in any way!)

These last few weeks I've been lucky enough to see 2 mask exhibitions, the first one was a couple of weeks ago at the Baltic Art Gallery in Gateshead where there was an exhibition by Maurizio Anzeri, he is best known for his hair sculptures but this exhibition was a collection of vintage photographs which he had collected at car boot sales and charity shops, they were all portraits or groups of people which he then embroidered over, effectively giving them masks. I really liked them even though some were really creepy, especially the ones of children.

‘I work with sewing, embroidery and drawing to explore the essence of signs in their physical manifestation. I take inspiration from my own personal experience and observation of how, in other cultures, bodies themselves are treated as living graphic symbols. I then use sewing and embroidery in a further attempt to re-signify, and mark the space with a man-made sign, a trace. I am interested in people’s stories and histories, and the relation between intimacy and the outer world. I have been working with hair for the past few years. I stitch and sew hair together until it becomes a sculpture. I see hair as a metaphorical medium to represent bodily boundaries, the embodiment of space.’ Maurizio Anzeri

This weekend I got a surprise visit from my mam and grandad Jack and so we went to the National Museum of Scotland
as the Victorian part of the building was re-opening...

I wore a striped t shirt, navy pencil skirt and converse..

I really wanted to see all the taxidermy but I'd have had to have elbowed a lot of small children out of the way to get good views and so I'll get to look around it when I visit next week. In a slightly quieter part of the building we found a room full of masks and some were really creepy. I especially liked the ones which were worn by young monks during skeleton dances which were to do with having several lives and being reborn with new possibilities...

To be honest, after that, my short attention span kicked in and I stopped reading and started photographing my favorites.....

If I ever get good enough at trapeze to perform , then there will be mask wearing involved! More photographs and a bit of an opinion on the National Museum's refurbishment after I visit again next week!

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