Pamela Schuller - Mask Maker, Arts Educator, Community Artist

#1 Shadow Mask Analysis

My Shadow Mask

 

In art class, for the past few weeks, we have been studying and modeling our own shadow masks. Shadow masks mean and represent many things to me and many others. To me, a shadow mask means revealing your hidden personality and emotion that you don't often show, because you either can't deal with that part of yourself or because you are afraid of the reaction you're going to get from your peers. It's like a shadow of you that no one can see. But with a mask and anonymity to others, you express yourself in ways you don't to people who know you. So by creating a mask it helps you express your emotions. So the whole concept of the shadow mask is to detail your hidden feelings that are rarely exposed, by modeling and painting them.

 

In the shadows mask we created, each and everything represents something, from the textures to the colours, everything has a meaning. In rny shadow mask it shows my feelings and emotions as a bystander. My wide open eye with a small pupil represents my shock and anger boiling up inside of me. It shows astonishment and my anger. I am astonished of reasons that people fight and argue about, the anger that I am afraid to help the victim.

 

The blue strips on my face represent the anger growing and consuming me into its darkness. The red outline of the stripes is the anger, while the blue is trying to calm down the anger and remain in self-control. The blue outline of my eyes represents the helplessness of taking no action at that moment and remaining by standing.

 

My zippered mouth shows my unexplainable fear to say something either stop the bully or to save the victim. I feel imprisoned in my own body, paralyzed in fear of what might happen to me, just for saving the victim. The textures feel rough and circular to show confusion and hard times in life when I witness event like these.

 

I have the color green going around my face in a circular pattern, to me it represents confusion between choosing what to do, and what not to. To me its confusion of decision, it shows when I don't know which side to choose, the bullies or the victims. Both have a consequence depending on which side I choose. The light blue line that separates both sides shows my calmness and control throughout my anger. It shows what I show to others. I show them my calm self, but inside me the anger is boiling up, and is about to burst, but somehow I manage to keep myself together.

 

My right eye represents regret and shame. It's the regret and shame of taking no action to prevent the event from occurring. My eye is half way together with a large pupil showing eyes of regret. Its how I feel after an incident occurs and the bad and uncomfortable feeling I get afterwards. It shows my controllable guilt, it makes me feel as though I could have done something to stop the incident but I chose not to. And realizing that makes me ashamed from the inside.

 

Overall my shadow masks carry my emotion and feeling as a bystander of an incident such as a fight or a gossip. But from my past experiences, I as a bystander have grown to understand my mistakes on what I should of have done. So now if I see a fighting or bullying I just go up to the bully or fighter and I stop it. But I can only do that now because I know them and they trust me. I have learned that always follow what you think is the truth or right. This has helped me live my life peacefully and with less regrets.

 

By a Grade 8 student

 

my . artist run website