January 27, 2022

Can We Reclaim the Mask?

Alison Brown

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Costume Design and ConstructionMasked, 2021

Masks throughout history have played a significant role in the development of what it means to be human. They permit the imaginative experience of becoming a different character, transforming identity and imbuing power. They have existed as devices for disguise, playfulness and theatrics and held varying spiritual significance across time and culture. Many believed that masks gave them a direct connection to the supernatural and as they were being made they increasingly acquired power in their own right. The intention behind my costumes is to reclaim the mask as a thing of beauty and significance, removing the current association it has with mundane and practical PPE.