Integrative Studio – Avatar: “Friendship” High School Memory Mask

 

I believe that a majority of people can agree that high school definitely was not the best years of their lives. High School can be filled with drama, stress and other emotional turmoil. People during this time always think that they know you better than you know yourself or have you “all figured out”, but I believe that I am beyond fortunate to have a close-knit group of friends who see me as I truly am.

This mask is the epitome of the friendships that I have developed throughout my high school career. It is our late night runs to the beach, scary movie marathons (which I hate more than anything), our pizza parties and sushi nights and our hang outs at our town’s “Inkwell Coffee House”; where we always thought we were the cool kids from old movies who had a specific “spot” to meet up with their friends. More specifically, this mask highlights the time I first truly bonded with my friends on a cold winter day in February. The drips trickling from the lower portion of the mask represent icicles from that cold that day. On that day, I walked with my friends Regina and Michelle to Regina’s house. Heavy snow covered the ground as we walked and eventually my friends and I found ourselves laughing at how the pair of Converses that I wore that day fell apart to beyond repair from the harsh weather.

The flower on the right side of the mask covering where an eye would typically be represents one of my best friends, Regina, who has a love for carnations. They say that the “eyes are the windows to your soul”; – by using her favorite flower within my mask, it is conveyed that she saw me for who I truly was and understood and had insight to the thoughts and feelings I kept inside. To further emphasize this, I made my mask completely out of transparent plastic.

To make this mask, I utilized plastic lids, containers and shards from plastic bottles to create different textures and shapes. In order to create forms such as the flower, I placed the plastic over a candle and mended the piece into a flower shape as it started to soften from the heat. I also placed dabs of hot glue throughout the mask to create intricate details.

Creating this mask was a huge step out of my comfort zone and I have never truly experimented with a project that made use of such a difficult material. I found it difficult at first to mend the plastic into specific shapes because it would sporadically form a shape of its own due to the heat from the candle. Despite this difficulty, I really enjoyed working with the material and looking back, I believe that if I were to use plastic and hot glue again for a project, I would approach the matter differently.

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