This first project was informed by current events. I've been under self-isolation for 3+ months, as most, due to the pandemic. I have become reliant on delivery services and ordering goods online which has unfortunately resulted in an increase in plastic. Bags, containers, wraps, bubbles... If plastic is unavoidable, I try to use it at least twice, which has been challenging.
Coal, charcoal, burning--it makes me think of transformation, which in a broad sense envelops art, too. Making something out of nothing, re-contextualizing materials. I stripped Amazon Prime bubble mailers in order to make a mask, commenting on my own consumerism during a global pandemic. The lower portion of the mask is made of paper cranes and tissue paper flowers from interior packaging. I formed the mask to resemble a bevor and gorget (medieval armour) to align with my own interest in medieval studies, one of my research areas. The mas itself represents me, at this moment, while also signifying transformation, altering materials for a new purpose, as fire transforms a material into another.
My original intention was to burn the mask, thinking that the plastic wouldn't be as flammable as the paper components, resulting in a melted object. Having the birds and flowers combust, leaving the plastic, would signify the eventual destruction of nature and wildlife due to plastic and non-biodegradable goods. Unexpectedly, it all burned, and QUICKLY.
The takeaway, the phoenix, the renewal coming from ash, is still intact.