As a young father, in the early 80’s, my first son, Julian, loved rambling the beach or taking long bike rides with me to UBC. We were both collectors and would pickup discarded shells, large crab carapaces, feathers of every variety and end up back home with a full backpack, much to my wife’s chagrin. They would be dutifully washed, carefully packaged into boxes and protected by cotton wool. These boxes sat in our basement, then the years began to travel ever faster and I forgot about these treasures until one year – I think it was 1988 – I opened one of the boxes and felt what wonderful adornments they would make for a face mask. Much like an ancient totemic, tribal ritual, I started to create the “Mask” you see here. It was made from paper mache and painted using acrylic to provide a durable and lasting surface. Once dry the mask took on a magical life through the application of those collected shells and feathers. On passing a craft store downtown, I noticed fragments of cow hide for sale, which would become the finishing touch.
The images below are a combination of shots taken whilst traveling in Europe. I have had a long fascination with doors and in particular, the beautifully built 15 and 16 century varieties found on that continent. They provided a way for me to extend the life of this mask by turning it into a series of digital works of art.
All materials are © Copyright 2009-2023, of Ian Bateson’s Studio.