In person, both parts of the mask are clearly visible, but through my photography, I chose to focus on the aspect not seen by most people. In my day to day life, people often see me as upbeat, friendly and put together. I am always told that if any one can do it, that I can. Yet most people fail to see the struggles I face, just as they do. Instead of sharing and burdening them with my problems in addition to their own, I withhold and pull on my strength to help them through theirs. Its a choice I make daily, and for me the right one.
The black yarn mask that strangles the individual who wears it represents those suppressed feelings and thoughts that fail to be set free. When withheld for too long, they begin to suffocate and wear the person raw. Often, we try and hide from these feelings but its always a failed attempt once we turn our backs to the world and reflect on ourselves.
The bear represents the view the world receives. The mask purposely is looking up and is placed on the back of the head, as the individual appears to be positive and happy, but in reality, their head and heart aren't truly in the appearance.
In the photography aspect, I had my model convey what they thought frustration, fear, and defeat would looked like to them in action form. From those shots, I selected the best and placed them within a series, demonstrating the process as one goes through their withheld thoughts. Then reveling the final result- the confusion and overwhelming feelings that can come within the public space without warning. Within it is the symbol of spilled ink, which stands for missed chances- opportunities that can easily be missed while stuck in your head, overwhelmed by everything that should have been said.
In Process Photos:
Hot glue was used to make a flexible mask that would fit over the head.
Yarn was incorporated into the glue.
Tracing paper, gel medium, wire.
Silvie Heger, artist, Germany
Miranda July, artist, USA