Emma Faulkner/ Summer Issue

‘My practice explores the mask, and the effect it has on humanity, as a social construct, and whether we are in control of the mask, or if it controls us. Through the different representations of either the physical mask i.e., makeup and the steps we take to get ready to face the judgement of the world, or the psychological mask I.e., unspoken social cues that dictate and change how we act, which are written into the code of society that are unconsciously followed. But what if these rules are broken? The question of if the mask can ever be broken, as the viewer is made more aware of the true self that is hidden is also explored, with deconstructing the notion of the mask within the portrait, by making it assertive and undeniable, the viewer is left with the uncomfortable feeling to ask the same questions of themselves.

I use a range of mediums in my practice from graphite to acrylic and oil paint, to achieve outcomes which reflect the desired areas. Graphite allows me to look at the unavoidable gaze of the subject with tonal values by restricting what can be conveyed on the page. whereas acrylic and oil paint allow me to explore the contrast of figurative and abstract, battling side to win over the portrait in the allotted panel.

The most important element of my work is the idea of the gaze and that of the subject trapped within the painting, The feeling of being uncomfortable, being separated from the subject in the painting, but at the same time having a small sense of familiarity and relatability to the viewer’s own life is what I hope to achieve within my work.’




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