Illusions Mixed Media; plaster mask, watercolor, fairy dust & altered book sculpture
By Molly Blythe Doerner
February 20, 2013
I have said it every quarter since I have been attending Southwestern College, that I have been inspired and moved at the core of my being. This is my third quarter as a part-time graduate student, and I feel as if I am oozing with creative goodness. Just when I thought that those juices had soured, when I thought that I had lost my inspiration, I found Southwestern College.
The mask piece I call “Illusions” reflects a mixed bag of equal parts art and oddity. I have been tinkering with altered books as my weekly reflections for Theories of Art Therapy class, led brilliantly by Laura Lansrud-Lopez. Illusions combines a water-damaged, cut, shredded and sculpted edition of Illusions, by Richard Bach with a water-colored and fairy-dusted mask of my own face, hung snugly on an old wooden coat hanger like a dusty piece of clothing that has been forgotten at the back of my closet. I feel that this piece represents an illusion of Self, lost somewhere in a world of words and manipulated consciousness. There seems to be a certain dialogue to be had with the mask, as it spews the shredded bits of words from its mouth as the rest twirls and spirals around the head like a chaotic halo.
But it is only a mask and an old book. When I made my first cut into the book pages, I envisioned a beautiful garden with castles, trees and whimsy. When I stepped back from the finished piece, I quickly realized that perhaps my unconscious had other plans. It feels hauntingly difficult to look at, but it somehow pulls me back, as if it has something it needs to say.