In the spirit of Halloween, I had an idea to create something eerie, perhaps bordering violent. For me, the mask I created was not meant to transform the wearer, but to absorb them. A multitude of hands reach over the face, obscuring an eye, and cradling the chin. I imagined this mask as a physical manifestation of mental illness, constantly pulling the wearer back into some dark abyss.
To create the mask, I began with a wire frame headband. My boyfriend acted as a *mostly* willing mannequin, who held still while I bent wire around his head and repeatedly (but accidentally) stabbed him with loose wires. The hands were all created individually as well, comprised of wire armatures and masking tape.
I covered both the hands and the headband with foil to build up volume, and used paper pulp to build even more volume. Epoxy clay was used to create fingernails and to hold together some loose joints. The exterior was mostly covered with white paper clay.
Instead of attempting to paint the hands “flesh color,” I wanted to leave them grey and white. The rawness of the paper clay and paper pulp created a wonderful texture that I couldn’t bring myself to cover up.
I imagine my hand mask being used as a movie prop, in dimly lit rooms, and only for split second cut scenes. Hopefully, the quick cut scenes would lead the viewer to question whether or not they actually saw it.
Ben was less than enthused to model for me after I woke him up to do so.