We Wear the Mask

Where is the line between reality and fiction drawn? What parts of our true selves do we acknowledge? Others see only what we allow them to; the parts of the true self we let out from behind the mask. The distinction between our “fictional” selves and our actual selves is what inspired this work, and how we each wear different masks depending on the circumstances. Shel Silverstein writes in his work Masks, “She had blue skin, / And so did he. / He kept it hid. / And so did she. / They searched for blue / Their whole life through. / Then passed right by- / And never knew.” The fear of showing one’s true self kept apart two people who were looking for others like themselves. We control what others perceive of us, only revealing certain parts. Each element works together to create the self. The flower-patterned cloth can be society, or the mask hiding the true self, struggling to peek through the fictional illusions we have created for others to see. The embroidery can be the thread between the different versions of ourselves, and how they interact–the line between fiction and truth. While viewing this piece, think about the words of Maya Angelou, who wrote “We wear the mask that grins and lies. / It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes… Nay let them only see us while / We wear the mask.”

This project was done as part of the Digital Art & Design major at Eastern Connecticut State University. It was displayed at the ECSU Fine Arts Gallery.