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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Shoot Mod4#19 – Behind the Mask – Removing My Mask #1

To explore how easy or hard it is to remove my mask, I decided to carry out a series of experiments where I tried to remove a symbolic mask that had been physically applied to my face. For ethical reasons, I did not feel that I could apply these masks to the faces of others in case they suffered an adverse reaction.

This first mask I used is a mud mask made from Dead Sea mud. It took ages to dry even with the assistance of a hair dryer on low setting. I had hoped that the mask would come off in chunks as I wanted to capture this photographically. However, the mask did not comply and refused to completely budge. In the images below, I am genuinely clawing at the mask to remove it.

Symbolically, this represented to me that is is really hard to remove our masks, especially if we have worn them for a long time. The mask becomes almost embedded in our skin. Trying to remove the physical mask felt like I was having to claw at my face. I eventually was able to wash it off. In real life, we often need the addition of something or someone to aid the removal of the mask.

This experiment did not produce my intended outcome but did allow me to consider the difficulty of removing the masks we wear.

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