Since starting this blog in November 2010, I have completed 13 stories about our 25 year work history and I thought it might be a fun alternative to create a page to review the other side of my personal work. Namely, when all the marketing, phone calls, emails and assorted other ways of trying to generate work fail, I have always had the habit to fill those lackluster creative paying vacuums with something, so on this page I hope there will be fewer words and more images related to my other creative endeavours.
As a young father, in the early 80’s, my first son, Julian, loved rambling the beach or taking long bike rides with me to UBC. We were both collectors and would pickup discarded shells, large crab carapaces, feathers of every variety and end up back home with a full backpack, much to my wife’s chagrin. They would be dutifully washed, carefully packaged into boxes and protected by cotton wool. These boxes sat in our basement, then the years began to travel ever faster and I forgot about these treasures until one year – I think it was 1988 – I opened one of the boxes and felt what wonderful adornments they would make for a face mask. Much like an ancient totemic, tribal ritual, I started to create the “Mask” you see here. It was made from paper mache and painted using acrylic to provide a durable and lasting surface. Once dry the mask took on a magical life through the application of those collected shells and feathers. On passing a craft store downtown, I noticed fragments of cow hide for sale, which would become the finishing touch to the piece.
When I joined Baseline 25 years ago, I felt I needed a connection to my past working environment – the spare room next to my sons bedroom – and so this piece has now resided in two offices and provided me with a great silent sounding board when having to work long hours, or when dealing with a client I just didn’t connect with. I’ve laughed and cried with this mask. I’ve shouted and screamed at it when no one else was around to hear. This has become my spirit mask and I honour it with open doors – well closed doors really.
The images below are a combination of shots taken over a number of years whilst traveling in Europe. I have had a long fascination with doors and in particular, the beautifully built 15 and 16 century varieties found in Europe. They carry so much meaning and metaphor in our lives, they also provided a way for me to extend the life of this mask by turning it into a series of digital works of art.