Mask, Myth & Multiple Cultures

Sept. 1, 2021

In the context of the upcoming exhibition Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance, Christina Kennedy, Head of Collections, IMMA, invited members of Art Nomads to participate in two exploratory workshops. The members included artists Roxana Manouchehri, Laragh PittmanRajinder Singh, Antonio D’Souza, and poet Insaf Yalçinkaya.  These artists shared their knowledge of the various forms of storytelling and mythical figures from different parts of the world and diverse cultural traditions including; Persia, Kurdistan, Syria, India, East Africa, Malaysia and Ireland.

Through a guided discussion and mask design workshop participants  explored images of creatures sometimes half human, half animal who populate fairy tales, myths and folk stories that we all know from our own upbringings. Folk stories are like culture itself, they have been shaped and changed innumerable times by the journeys and languages of transcultural exchange. A mask can not only be described as a protective garment but is also a transformative object that gives the wearer a shamanistic potential in the world.