The creative process of mask making allows an individual to bypass conscious or subconscious thinking patterns and intuitively reveal an aspect that comprises at least part of the truth of who they are as a unique human being.
The project, Inside Out: Faces of Self, explores this concept at an individual level, and also collectively. Over the past year and a half, I have worked with many groups of individuals, often marginalized and with limited possibility of engaging in art activities, encouraging them to explore through the making of masks their own inner landscapes, their unveiled self in its many manifestations. These I then photographed along with the individual "outer" face, compositing the resulting images into a photographic mural that reflects a collective expression of creativity and inspiration.
I do this work as a way to create intimacy and dialogue and to visually manifest the connection that exists between people. The work provides a visible reminder of the complexity, power and beauty that exists in each and every human being, irrespective of who they are or the face and actions that they may present to the outer world.
"Don't measure (the holy) man as you measure yourself. Like words have different meanings. In this way the whole world has gone astray."
~ Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi, born 1207, Afghanistan
© 2007 Barbara Cummard. All reproduction prohibited.