“I reveal myself one mask at a time.”
Masks have been created for centuries to act as protection, expression, containment, communication, transformation and memorialization. They can reveal, conceal, and evoke all at the same time. When utilized in art therapy, making masks invite the artist to explore various aspects of his or her self and others around them. The creative process of mask making is healing and life enhancing and is a form of nonverbal communication of thoughts and feelings. It permits expression in a way that is often less threatening than strictly verbal means. It is a way to visually communicate thoughts and feelings that do not have words, or are too painful to put into words. There is a level of comfort in creative expression that provides a sense of safety sometimes not found through traditional therapy alone. Masks serve as a powerful tool in expressing and developing our self and help us on our journey to mental wellness.
Reference: Sivin, Carole, (1986). Maskmaking. Worcester, Massachusetts: Davis Publications, Inc.