|  The Dream Of Reason   |   Songs of Experience  |  Women ... Real And Imagined   | Thanatopsis  |
|  La Commedia dell'Arte  |  And More Masks ...  |
Fashion Event At MIKI'S RIVER OAKS  |
|   Mary Lyon  | Carnival masks - Máscaras de Carnaval  |

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" Medusa" (C) 1979

" Medusa "
Papier mache
and acrylic
© 1979

" Daisy "
Papier mache, acrylic
artificial flowers
© 1988

" Hathor "
Papier Mache, acrylic,
glass stones
and beads,
© 1990

" Cho Cho San "
Papier Mache, acrylic,
diamond dust
© 1981

" Rose "
Papier mache, acrylic
artificial flowers
© 1988

" Guadalupe  "
Papier mache,acrylic,
diamond dust
© 1979

  When I am alone in the studio and no deadlines loom, when I can work slowly, and let the process be a meditation, I frequently make masks of women. The medium and process I use for these masks is a very slow one, very quiet, very repetitive, with none of the movement and energy of making paintings and sculpture.

" Lily "
Papier mache, acrylic and artificial flowers
© 1979

   As a result, each of these masks was executed over a long period of time. These masks were left on a bench, unfinished, sometimes for years at a time. I only returned to them when time was my very, very own, full of a longing for escape into the nothingness of deep meditative process.

Papier mache and acrylic
© 2000

   In my studio at present, three unfinished masks sit: one of Lilith; one of an imagined woman I call Everywoman, whom I am designing as a character for a performance piece I am writing, and yet another. I am not working on them at present, as I am engrossed in painting and also wish to make some totemic sculptures. Nonetheless, these masks sit on their bench, and greet me and keep me company every day as I work.

" Fátima "
Papier mache, acrylic and diamond dust
© 1979

  I cannot imagine being in my studio without unfinished "Women" masks in process. Their presence in my studio is absolutely necessary for my work. Why is this? I'm not sure, perhaps it is an affirmation of myself. And, while it is perhaps quite ostentatious to place the wonderful, magical words of Joseph Campbell beside this work, I will fulfill a dream and do so. As I work on these masks, sometimes I try to understand or at least intuit the full depth and scope of woman as she has been understood and misunderstood by our adored opposite gender.

" Lilith as Her Owl "
Papier mache and acrylic
© 1986

  When I approach despair, and wonder how we could be so misunderstood, I think of these words of Joseph Campbell, and I feel the rush of soft femininity between my legs, and my face flushes with happiness that this man did indeed understand.

  "Woman, in the picture language of mythology, represents the totality of what can be known. The hero is the one who comes to know. As he progresses in the slow initiation which is life, the form of the goddess undergoes for him a series of transfigurations: she can never be greater than himself, though she can always promise more than he is yet capable of comprehending.

She lures, she guides, she bids him burst his fetters. And if he can match her import, the two, the knower and the known, will be released from every limitation. Woman is the guide to the sublime acme of sensuous adventure. By deficient eyes she is reduced to inferior states; by the evil eye of ignorance she is spellbound to banality and ugliness. But she is redeemed by the eyes of understanding.

  The hero who can take her as she is, without undue commotion but with the kindness and assurance she requires, is potentially the king, the incarnate god, of her created world."

Joseph Campbell,
from " The Hero with a Thousand Faces  "

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