• Dawn Hemstreet

Pendants, sculpture & masks


A mask is the face imagination gives a God. Reaching back to Paleolithic history and still in use today, the mask may be a quintessential genre of human psychological expression. Masks portray the human "life drama"in all it's manifold aspects, especially the compelling, ambiguous, sometimes revelatory and often treacherous search for the "real self" behind our familiar self images. As the human wearer of a mask becomes obscured, he or she is transformed into the archetypal patterns the mask evokes. These enduring archetypal images are brought into the context of the present, and serve as models for social and psychological life. Distillations of powerful archetypal emotions - love, fear, rage, disappointment, joy - are given impersonal artistic form in a mask, which supports paradoxically both catharsis and disidentification. The mask, far from merely concealing its wearer, provides a bridge, opening psychological experience towards the "spirits", the instinctual archetypal factors of the personality, by providing "temporary housing" for those "Gods".(copied directly from The Book of Symbols - Taschen)


Compelling RIGHT!!!???? When I read this I imagined that this could be made into jewelry, because, I think that everything can and should be made into jewelry ;). I had a thought that a small sculpture might just house these ideas of life drama and catharsis. What would a mask of "Freedom" look like or a mask of "Abundance" or a mask of "River" or a mask of "On the brink of everything". And so it began- one experiment after another creating molds, hand sculpting faces in metal clay and building pieces that in my deepest hope hold this eternal glorious catastrophe called life. Beginning as "Feminine" designs it may now be something else. I am not sure at this point where this will take me. It's been an interesting ride of discovery, design planning and trying to get the "glow from within" on each design.


Yesterday a friend graciously reminded me as I was saying something to the effect "I can't do tutorials or online classes, I'm not doing anything that others aren't already doing" she said "Faces, no one else is sculpting faces in this way." Then I literally had to think how many faces have I actually done. It turns out quite a few. The technique evolves and the ideas are ever present (latest is a quote from Hemingway coming soon..???). I am finding my way and I can see a class or tutorial about basic face sculpting in metal clay in the future.


I often think of Art as distilling. It's the open hearted ideas from multiple life experiences that pour through the person and make it to the other side as an image. It's the movement and concentration of a particular idea or nowness that you get a chance to catch, create and share. In true paradox form this art making journey is awesome and sucks AND I'm up for it, for reals.


May your give a damn never be broken and may you have a gentle relationship with paradox,


Dawn









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Dawn Hemstreet June 2017

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