The idea of Persona masks is in part derived from psychoanalysis(Carl Jung), which has it's own origins in imaginative and speculative scientific enquiry into the possible nature of the 'the mind'. A big part of this exploration of the personal involved dream analysis, so I propose we each keep a small aspect of our journals open to dream imagery and dream analysis - either remembered or imagined(if these are in fact different)...And, coincidentally, a good way to hold a dream or realize a dream is to imagine one, and then speculate on what that might look like by drawing and writing in sketchbooks... and journals.
Traditionally, journals are mainly text-based records and sketchbooks are mainly visual records. Personally, my sketchbooks are my journals: rich sources of my own images and ideas, more and less private, that are most often very interesting, sometimes beautiful, exciting and unlikely, often cringe-worthy, corny, funny and very often flawed. My own ideas are a source of inspiration, reflection, healthy embarrassment, changed mind, experimentation, and hopeful starts. With journals and sketching, we creatively - or constructively - enter into a very useful dialogue with the narratives of our own ideas and concerns, as we practice routines of problem-solving and visualizing questions and alternatives, and realize the range of possibilities to our thinking and most importantly, steps to doing.
Words/Phrases to investigate: Allegory, Narrative, Symbol, speculation, Dream Analysis, Archetypes, Carl Jung, 'Persona and Shadow'(Carl Jung), Plato's 'Allegory of the Cave'.
In the Studio:
I found a great way to make our masks using the paper bases, plasticine, paper-mache and paint/collage. Here is my mock-up.(see below). I left this loose and careless, as a demo of possible techniques we can work on, and test ideas a bit more in studio. I want to reveal the different levels of working through to a finished work, and to offer the possibility to you that while parts might be left incomplete, that doesn't mean the work as a whole is unfinished. Mostly, I wanted to show you different levels where you can invest or leave-off the work using different materials and techniques for your own creative purposes.
These are views of the front. I built up some features with plasticine, planning to p-mache over. As I was working I liked how just the plasticine itself became a way to define the details so left some blank for you to consider. Notice the mouth and nose detail and the different ways of creating pattern with either/or paint, plasticine and p-mache.
I left the tips of the 'horns' exposed because it was interesting. I didn't really paint areas of colour because the p-mache was done in different colours of tissue paper--which is kind of painting with paper...