Magical objects – reflection

I have felt extremely inspired by this module and have thoroughly enjoyed studying the world of masks and other magical objects. Magic and superstition has always been something i’ve been interested in, so this project seemed to have been hand picked just for me. Ive learnt so much about the beliefs and uses of  masks in cultures throughout time. Masks have been used for all sorts of different things from communicating with the dead or other spiritual ceremonies and sometimes for performances or rituals such dancing. I have learnt that traditionally masks have not been used as art but have usually had some sort of purpose. In the future I’d like to explore and investigate where these lines blur, from traditional use to modern day and  when did the mask lose its  functional purpose within society and why?  How have collective superstitions changed throughout time and why? I have enjoyed learning about masks and their uses so much that I think it would be an excellent proposal for my dissertation. My work in the past has been focused on costume, interactive art and performance, so this module has been particularly enriching as well as inspiring for future projects.

Whilst researching about masks, its clear animals have inspired cultures throughout time and animal imagery has had many uses in the world of magic and superstition. Some cultures believe that by wearing animal masks or by using animal imagery they take on the strengths of that animal. This idea of animal human hybrids seemed like an interesting concept and so I’ve chosen to investigate this more through my practical work.

Another thing I found interesting was learning about art and spirituality and how the two inspire one another. Again spirituality it’s something I’ve always been interested in but until now I have not seen how I could properly integrate it into my practice. I particularly enjoyed learning about how entropic and hypnagogic  imagery have influenced art. I had never heard of these terms before but have felt that I’ve always been inspired by them nonetheless.  I am an extremely visual thinker and untill learning about these terms I had taken this for granted.  I stopped to admire the dancing images behind my eyelids and found a whole new world inspiration.

Over all I feel like this project has greatly helped me with all other areas of my practice both academic and practical. I am happy with my outcomes, however with more time I would like to mount the head I’ve made to create a full costume taking inspiration from Mari Lwyd costumes from a traditional Welsh folk winter custom. However id like to take it further than these traditional items by making a moving mechanism to control the head from under the sheet thereby animating the character and giving it more expression. This project has definitely left me excited to continue exploring the world of magical objects.

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