Art Challenge: The Mask – Complete

Feathers VaseRemember back in late May, I gave myself a challenge?
Here is my first completed piece.
The concept of incorporating feathers was very inspiring to me.
A stained textural stoneware surface with the soft illusive quality of the feathers, attached with leather string.
The inspiration was this
Yup’ik mask. You can read more about this lovely wood carving below.

 

Description plaque at the MIA exhibit:
Yup’k
Arctic region
Mask, 19th – 20th century
Wood, feathers, pigment


The John R. Van Derlip Fund 81.14


“Yup’ik people have long maintained an annual cycle of ceremonies and festivals, passing Arctic nights in storytelling, singing, and dramatic masked performances. The purpose of these events is to enlist spiritual aid for survival in the harsh climate. They also build community feeling and a sense of cooperation. Many songs and dances are about success in hunting, an important concern. Shamans organize ceremonial dances and the carving of dance masks, which are made by men. Past Yup’ik artists had only a few materials, like driftwood, bone, fur, and feathers, but they used them skillfully, developing the spare, expressive style seen in this work. This mask, with its delicately carved features, probably represents a woman.”

 

Learn more about my challenge.

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