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- cow pelvis, Montana;
- black river stones, Montana;
- painted plaster cast of my face
The title of this mask, “Birth,” basically says it all: a mask emerges from the birth canal. I like to regard this as a metaphor for the birthing of any creative project. If the time is right, and the fertile nesting space is ready, then the creativity naturally emerges.
Several years ago, I found this bleached cow pelvis while kayaking. I strapped it to my kayak and carefully floated it all the way to the anglers’ river put out, many miles away. I've had it for such a long time without any idea what I might do with it, other than hang it above my garage door in the country.
When I began making mask artistry pieces, in July 2016, I made, incredibly for me, 27 masks in five months and this was one of my early ones. I knew at some point what I would do with the pelvis. I took it down from above my garage door and began playing with possibilities. The materials are simple: I simply combined my extreme love of bones and skeleton parts, in this case a cow’s pelvis, with river stones and a mask of my face. I used a painted black spiral on the face, to honor the spiraling cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. I particularly like the emerging “face” with eyes that the pelvis suggests, and the “face“ of the birth mask within it, projecting itself through the birth canal. It, for me, is almost a haunting image, powerful in the moment of birth, and coincides with my full respect for the immediacy of the “delivery” of a creative idea, or the formed expression of an artistic visualization of that idea from the Womb of All Creativity.