IN THE BEGINNING
8 Stoneware & Linen Fiber
10 x 15
BEHIND THE MASK
Who would you
Like to be?
Inside ~ Outside
Contrast and Change
or a Fantasy?
I began making masks about twenty-five
years ago ~ stumbled into it, really. I was looking for a new project for my teenage pottery students. My art/potter friend,
Marie Remington [Buchanan Art Center, MI], suggested Mask Making.
Marie taught me the mold making process by making
a mask for me, on my own face. When I looked into that mold and saw my face for the first time in negative relief, I saw an
image of something before this human existence ~ an amphibious creature, a lizard, an animal from my spirit past.
Together we went on a journey, crawling inside and behind, searching for the place in each of us where masks are made.
Susan M. Sutherland Barnes (and The Lizard)
The first mask out of the mold
. . .
. . . to see how it all worked. Then I made "Metamorphosis Mother," followed by my first experiment using
I'm Not Dead; I'm Dreaming
|A SELF PORTRAIT ~ CIRCA 1998
|CONE 6 STONE BISQUE / SPRAY PAINT / Wood / MIXED FIBERS
This piece is about defiance. It's about standing up for what an
artist believes concerning his/her own work.
I was encouraged, at one point, to move away from fantasy and dream
masks toward something more representational because of a negative association between Contemporary LIFE and Traditional DEATH
Aside from the obvious need to sell, I didn't see fantasy or dreams as a creative problem. "I'M
NOT DEAD; I'M DREAMING" sums up my feelings concerning the struggle to produce for public consumption and remain
fixed in one's own creative values.
I AM THE WIZARD
Cone 6 Stoneware ~
Feathers / Fibers / Beads / Shells
It's me in disguise as a man with a beard.
I was curious.
This resulting mask is part of a much larger, continuing series called "THE DREAMER AND THE
DREAM." On one side the eye is closed. That's the DREAMER. On the other, the eye is open. That's the DREAM.
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a