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- wood base, Wyoming;
- plaster cast of my face;
- tiny shell bits, Hawaii;
- four dogshark egg pods, Massachusetts;
- large seedpods, Bahamas;
- cowry shells, Hawaii;
- shelf fungus tree mushrooms, Montana;
- jawbone of a wild boar, Hawaii
In life, we can only grow to peace and self-acceptance if we learn to forgive others and ourselves. Resentment holds us back from achieving happiness. The process of forgiving is sometimes a difficult one, but well worth the attempt. This Mask Artistry piece is entitled “Forgiveness” and serves as a simple reminder of the power and ability within us that can pave the way to allowing the grace of forgiveness in our hearts. Pure and simple, the message is just that.
The materials for this piece contain some very unique pieces, though they are somewhat visually camouflaged and need some mentioning. First, the headdress of the “Forgiveness” face is actually a wild boar jawbone I found last year in Hawaii. I left the teeth unpainted to stand out from the black-painted bone itself. On the bone I have placed some unusual large seedpods, found washed up on the shores in the Bahamas, and I left them unpainted, as well. The shells on the mask itself I simply scooped up from a shore on the Big Island, Hawaii, and used a large handful for the face itself. Cowry shells are mixed among the seedpods on the headdress and are scattered, here and there, on the wood base.
You will notice four strange black shapes of decoration. Two of them adorn the sides of the mask, one is on the wood base, and one small one is on the face’s forehead. They are called “Devil’s Handbags” and are actually the egg pods from the dogfish shark or a ray. While on a winter retreat some years ago, writing a book, I lived for six weeks on an island off the Massachusetts coast. To take breaks from writing, I would brave the frigid temperatures and the wind, and walk the beaches. I collected dozens of these strange egg pods and I think they’re beautiful. The last materials I have incorporated are the three large shelf fungus tree mushrooms. I call them “elephant ears,” though I don't know their actual genus or species, and I found them while just walking my dog up in the mountains here in Montana.
This is one of my newer masks and is a table mount. It is my hope that as it graces another table, it will spread the “forgiveness reminder” and serve as an emotionally supportive inspiration to someone who is searching for the healing power of forgiveness in their own life.