There is a significance in Scotland of the oral tradition, the ways in which people tell stories and how they develop into myth. I want to give contemporary context to these old tales of warning, to show how our relationship has changed over time.
Myths are often used as warnings of character and place, I feel it is intrinsic of a place to be reflected in a person, and the way this is performed through behaviour to be interesting. The way in which they appeared in my growing up in the Highlands and my heritage in South Uist and Barra through the likes of the future teller the Brahan Seer, to the Selkies and Kelpies of the waters of Scotland – these are all stories we learn from on how to build an understanding of your surroundings.
In this piece I focused on the Caoineag, the Highland Banshee. She foretells death in a clan by lamenting through the night from a body of water. I have become and shaped the Caoineag through the making of this mask, just as the Caoineag has become part of me through her story being told.
Mask is the size of the face and feels like fabric, typically hung simply on a nail.
The mask is made from a machine embroidery technique in which I sew layers of thread onto a cold water dissolvable plastic, which melts away resulting in the piece.