January 17, 2021

Why Do We Hide Behind These Masks Of Shame?

Sara Oussaiden

CrochetFrom Inside, 2020

IFS analysis from the Understanding Society study​ found that mental health has worsened substantially as a result of the pandemic. Groups have not been equally impacted; young adults and women have been hit hardest.

Consequently, spikes in mental health problems are predicted to become a pandemic in itself that will impact Scotland’s Communities long after the Coronavirus has disappeared. Inspired by my own feelings of shame when experiencing depression during lockdown in a small rural community, I wanted to challenge the ridiculousness of this shame in an attempt to make mental health a more accessible talking point.

I chose to make masks after carrying out research into branks (medieval masks made from metal used to punish women who gossiped) and modernise them by creating colourful crocheted versions. They were also inspired by the surgical masks we have all become too familiar with as a result of COVID. The abstractness of the final photos with the masks contrasting against the models tight black clothing aims to prompt discussion in the viewers.