This is the first Life Mask painting in a series series titled Wairua. Wairua is the spiritual aspect of man that connects us to Te Ao Wairua the spiritual realm. It is intertwined with our physical which is our connection to the living world. We are connected spiritually and physically to the natural environment and culture. Without the wellbeing of our environment our spiritual and physical will also be effected. Masks have been used for protection and facial impressions.
These masks were inspired by the early plaster-cast life masks in the 17 and 1800’s. When I first saw examples of them I mourned for the people of whom had been captured so perfectly, handsome faces that were long gone. For me the sculptures, plaster busts created by the masks, were almost inter dimensional and that if I touched them they could possible take me back in time.
I have used life masks in the hope of creating an impression or snapshot of our world now. Our world, our culture, one that is overlooked and unappreciated even at our own expense. I wish to draw attention to it now while it is still salvageable. Imprinted From birth we are connected to, and nurtured by the world around us. This painting represents our natural environment. The forests and waters of Tane.