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A Plea of Longing
- large wood base, driftwood, Wyoming;
- painted plaster cast of my face;
- cedar, Oregon;
- tree moss and lichen, Montana;
- black “grandfather's beard” hanging tree moss, Montana;
- dried flower seed pods, Montana;
- feathers: pheasant, grouse, turkey from Montana;
- black river stones, Montana;
- beaded stone necklace
This mask artistry piece, “A Plea of Longing”, has a somber tone. I intentionally placed the mask face “upward,” rather than straight on at eye level. That upturn, plus the unusual shape of this open mouth seemed to call forth a sense of desperate need, perhaps a lonely cry or a solemn request of the universe. Surely, some sort of plea of longing.
There are times in all our lives when we may find ourselves in a grave dilemma or difficult place to deal with. We may feel something is missing from our lives and might not even have any idea what that something could even be. It is that place in life – that moment of misunderstanding – or moment of need - or stab of pain when we may feel what is called “the dark night of the soul” as we express “a plea of longing.”
I believe everyone who gazes at this mask has experienced this type of sadness to some degree in their own lives, as this is an emotion shared by the entire family of humanity. We are all relations, as we all share the same range of emotions, such as the one expressed by this Mask Artistry piece.
As for the materials used, I think this particular wood base is by far the best one I've ever found. The texture and shape, with all its nooks, cave crannies, and shelf-like extensions offered me so many possibilities as a playground base. I often use feathers, seedpods and dried flowers, tree lichen and moss; such is the case, here. But one of the tree mosses is rather unusual. It is a long, black hanging moss in the “grandfather's beard“ group of mosses, and it serves as a bit of scraggly hair, barely seen around the face of this mask. Also special to this mask is a necklace I bought, loved, wore only once, and immediately incorporated it the very next day into this mask. I did not make the necklace, but I appreciate the natural stones and I think it frames the mask face well, giving it somewhat of an African feel. I am very much influenced by my research of African masks and ceremony, and that is evident in my design choices for this painted countenance, as well as all the companion materials included in “Plea of Longing.”