Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Iron Mask

My Iron Mask - 2014

Watercolour on paper

I have been interested in the idea that from our earliest years we develop 'the face' which we present to the world.  Like an iron mask created to conceal true identity it forms a barrier between ourselves and the world. 'My Iron Mask' (in my case with celtic and new zealand influences) suggests that our cultural experiences informs the ever evolving design of our mask faces; while at the same time this construction has an impact on the inner face, the inner person. We cannot see this effect ourselves as we look outwards and see the world through our mask, through our conditioning. Does the mask create permanent tattoos, scars or simply temporary shadows on our true face? It is unclear. Would we like the effect if we could see it? Or would the effect appear as distortions of how we see ourselves. The painting also touches on the point that this iron mask is not perhaps an enforced imprisonment imposed on us but that this person voluntarily holds their iron mask in place. Why would we cling to this when we are free to drop this barrier to discard what we have been influenced by? The painting suggests some of the fear we face in dropping the familiarity of our learnt beliefs and viewpoints. The difficulty we face in attempting to see the world without our history.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Watercolour on paper
72 X 52 cm

A delighted child presented with a giant fish. 'Insight' presents the problem that we face in curbing our view to using world resources. As children the fish seems enormous and plentiful but behind the child's delight the nets and ocean are empty. The child though is looking forward and the delight and beliefs fostered at a young age are hard to change. The child doesn't question the need for so much fish on their plate, the idea of waste and overindulgence simply doesn't exist for them. The outcome, another generation with rights and wants and to a lesser degree needs.