After working in more conventional art mediums for much of her life, Cyndy Salisbury began making masks in 2008, embracing the traditional materials and techniques of the Italian mask makers while wanting to explore beyond those conventional themes.
Each mask starts with a plaster of paris cast, the mold used to shape the body of the mask. Cyndy creates the casts by either covering a terra cotta sculpture or a living face in plaster. The mold is layered with Carta Lana, a wool rag paper used particularly in mask making. Once the layers of paper have dried in the cast, the resulting simple blank is removed, painted, and embellished. All additions to the body of the mask are created in the studio, mostly out of a variety of papers and Paper clay.
Cyndy Salisbury finds the human face to be an evocative canvas on which to bring to life the compelling images of myth, fable, fairy tale, and theater. Though she wants her masks to be worn for pleasure, they should also conjure up the transforming energy of the Greek theater, the psychic resonance of the Commedia dell’arte, and the provocative enchantment of the Venetian Carnival.
Cyndy Salisbury’s masks are inspired by a lifetime of reading world mythology, history, sci-fi, and speculative fiction has indelibly shaped her mask work. Mythological themes inform the majority of my masks, with an emphasis on female divinity.
Cyndy Salisbury’s masks have been featured in Bain Bridge Currents,
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