Sunday, September 4, 2022

"The Goddess of the Turning" and Reflections


I made this mask for Nanette,  Director and creatrix of Zuzi's Dance Theatre in Tucson, Arizona.  I've worked with her and her collaborators before and it's a pleasure to create a mask for her.  This mask is for her annual Winter Solstice event, and she requested an image that symbolizes the turning of the year,  Light into Dark,  Dark into Light.  So this mask became "The Goddess of the Turning", or "The Goddess of the Turning Year" to be more precise.

Masks keep turning up in my imagination!  Just when I thought I was done with all that,  the Goddess keeps nudging me with visions of masks and those unknown ones who might dance in them, who might tell their stories.  But I have no such community at present, so all I can do is make the masks.  In some other posts I'll show some of the new ones, including "Verity", which I'm quite proud of.

Artists never retire, although sometimes we get retired whether we like it or not!  But lately I have been ........... reclaiming a few things from the Saga of my life.  One is that a long time ago I went to Bali, and learned about their Temple Mask traditions.  It inspired me and gave me a whole new way to look at mask making (I had a lively business at that time as a mask artist for Renaissance Faires).  When I returned to the U.S. I was invited to make masks for Reclaiming's  20th Annual Spiral Dance at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco as the Invocation of the Goddess.  

And later it occurred to me that I had been given an opportunity thus to create Temple Masks within the American world I lived in.  To create sacred  Temple Masks dedicated to the Divine Feminine, to the Goddess with  all of Her many faces and names.  As the Balinese say, masks are "vessels for the gods".   How blessed I was when I saw the first ritual performance of my first collection of Masks of the Goddess at the Spiral Dance in the form of a Procession of costumed and masked women,  embodying Goddesses from 30 different cultures and times.  And that became a journey of some 20 years, a journey that, it seems, isn't entirely over yet.  

We will see as the Wheel of the Year Turns, and the Lady of the Turning presides overall.

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