Masks, veils, deception, facades all are fronts for hiding something or altering the truth. What is it that people choose to hide and why? The answer to this, I believe is rooted in the idea that people seek acceptance and will do anything to achieve it. The nature of duality is fascinating and I am driven to explore the relationship between what is presented at face value and what is hidden Underneath.
In Be Mine, I explored the idea of wedding rings; what it means to give someone a ring and what kinds of things are promised by that symbolic action. The traditional wedding ring is placed on the ring finger with a diamond to represent love that will last forever. Romantic, yes, idealistic, yes, and even though it is rarely the case that the love between two people will last forever, the ring is still given. By delving into the idea of promises that can’t be kept, I made a wedding ring. The ring fits on three fingers, the pinkie, ring, and middle, to represent two people coming together to make something bigger than what each can offer individually. I placed boxes on top of each ring to represent what it is that each person brings to the relationship with the ring on the ring finger representing the combination of the two individuals. The finish on the outside surface has a gold appearance and a high polish, leading the viewer to believe that what is inside of each box is an object of precious value, but when the boxes are opened, the viewer comes to find that they are empty, dirty, and unmaintained. This stark contrast is the representation of the façade shown to the outside world, but when taking a deeper look, the boxes reveal a hidden truth.
In Black Hand, I investigated the idea of different kinds of messages being sent and received. I made an imitation stiletto knife with a message hidden inside of the handle. This was to represent a threatening message being sent by someone who was part of the Black Hand mafia in Italy in the 19th century. In this case, the message that is being shown on the outside is quite similar to the one that is hidden within. The only difference is the level of information being given. Without knowing or seeing the hidden message, one still knows that the knife represents a threat, but they don’t know whom it is from or why it was delivered. By further investigating the hidden message, more information is revealed and can be understood by the receiver.
In Blinded, I chose to make a tool that hides one’s identity. For this project I was particularly interested in analyzing the ways in which people choose to identify themselves. I found that the type of dress someone wears, their adornments, the way they speak, and their eyes are all identifiers. I made a tool that covers up one’s chest and neck, blocks their mouth and covers their eyes. When worn, this tool strips one of their identity and completely immobilizes them by taking away the one sense that is so heavily relied on most, sight. By doing this, I created a tool that when worn, transforms someone by shielding their identity. Their identity remains, hidden, and in place of it, a hard metal surface is presented to the viewer and the surrounding world.