Masquerade
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2020 has been a significant year for the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting so many lives. Social distancing and hygiene have become synonymous with our efforts to combat the virus. All over the world, the effects are echoed from one country to another as the pandemic sweeps the globe.

 

The measures some countries took to protect their citizens also had a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of many people. Social isolation, mass unemployment and economic recession have left many people vulnerable, homeless or starving.

I felt inspired by a story of a young graphic designer who had started making masks due to unemployment from the covid-19 pandemic. It was a meaningful reflection of what was happening in the world now. The collection of stainless steel masks are a tribute to the spirit of human survival in times of adversity.

 

At the beginning of the lockdown in South Africa, I could not travel to my studio, so I stayed at home and made a series of watercolour portraits of my family. I also collected several masks and borrowed a sewing machine so we could make our masks at home. It was clear that the pandemic would have a profound impact on the world, touching everyone in one way or another.

 

After working for months on my new solo exhibition, all plans were now on hold, as shows and travelling got postponed, and suppliers were closed for the lockdown it became clear that I would have to use what I had available in the studio to create some new work. I wanted to do work that reflected my own experience, as well as what is happening in the world. 


I already had the reference material for making masks and combined with the inspiring story of the young designer who started making masks unexpectedly. I felt it was fitting to document this phenomenon with a unique collection of hand made stainless steel masks showing some of the different face covers used during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic.

 

As many face an uncertain future and the world sees an unusual amount of people and companies moving online for commerce and social interaction it makes me wonder what kind of future we are likely to live in beyond Covid-19. One thing is sure, the pandemic has changed our world in ways that may take years to understand, and the social and cultural impact from it will last for years to come.

 

We are now more dependant than ever on social media and digital connections to keep in touch with our friends and loved ones. The intersection between our physical bodies and our digital connection to the world is the subject of my new solo exhibition ‘Singularity ‘due to open later in 2020.