Explore the Exhibition
UnMasked is a creative collaboration of Sharka Bosakova, Mark Bahnisch, Thomas Oliver, Golda Guido, Megan Janet White + RAW Bodies, Paul Young (Orthotyp-a) and Robert Lort (Black Cactus).
We are extremely grateful to Arts Queensland through Metro Arts for funding from the StART grant programme, and also the wonderful help and generous support from QCA Griffith and Councillor Jonathan Sri (The Gabba Ward) Lord Mayor Community Fund
Thank you also to Tinni Choudhury, Erin O’Rourke, Joseph Burgess, Simon Turner and Doug Kwok.
THE MASK IS THE NEW FACE
Always present in every society, often used as a means of connection with the divine, the mask has now become an engaging fetish and trend, straddling fashion and art, for a game in which being and appearing are reversed and alternated.
The Wrong Kind of Mask
We might call ourselves by a different name, put on different clothes, and even move to a different geographic or social environment, to totally shield ourselves from criticism or exposure. We don’t really want to give in, give up, be exposed or be unmasked at all. In the name of complete openness we put on a suit of armour. You pronounce your new suit of armour, your further mask, as your vision of what you should be. Ever since we were separated from the wholeness of being, we’ve been trying to create our suits of armour, our masks, and shields of all kinds.
Excerpted from: Mindfulness in Action: Making Friends with Yourself through Meditation and Everyday Awareness,by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, page 124
Expression – Art as a transformative practice
Sharka Bosakova and Erin O’Rourke
“Each and every human being carries thorns within them. These thorns represent the experiences that stay with us. Some thorns we strike into ourselves, others are inserted, pushed and shaken by outside parties, be that individuals, groups or society in general. Some are created on purpose while others are sharpened unintentionally. But we all have them, we all carry them and most notably, we all MASK them.”
The creator of the UnMasked project, Sharka Bosakova, explores how we can acknowledge, share and unleash the power of our thorns through her 3D/ OVA jewellery pieces.
“Turning what is objectively our darkness drenched in trauma and pain, we can transform into something that becomes light, guided by hope and power. In the current climate of the world consumed by COVID-19 news and devastation, it is necessary now more than ever to come together to acknowledge and unmask our hidden thorns. UnMasked proposes a communal unmasking of our thorns.”
Exhibit 1 – HORIZONTAL FOREST
Material: fallen branches from the Toohey forest, paint
Walk through the horizontal forest ….
Mesmerised by the chaos and complete order of the forest, this delicate joinery mimics Sharka’s 3D / OVA functional principle.
Endless growth explores the body of the forest in its ever-changing myriads of possibilities.
Exhibit 2 – BODY MOVEMENT
Material: textile, paint, rain, wind, body movement
I dance its branches
Among the leaves
Trembling in shades
The memory of the body is in dialogue to search for new pathways. There is physical pleasure in celebrating tactility with the environment, reacting in the moment of the next movement.
Exploring body movement in a large format of textiles, these works create layers over and over, freely unrestricted, fully engrossed in the elements of the Sharka’s own body, sun, wind and rain capturing a physical pleasure in celebrating tactility with the environment. We can see ‘the body thinking’ captured in a simple manner of lines.
In her studio / living space the Sharka seamlessly flows from the kitchen, textile/sewing studio, jewellery workshop and a wonderous outdoor ‘Under the Tiger Tree’ space often visited by possums, a local bush turkey and a live-in lizard.
Exhibit 3 – BOX OF REFLECTION
Material: Splinter of BODY MOVEMENT painting, 3D/ OVA pieces, glass, flashlights
The Space of Visual Illusion.
WARNING: Flashing lights may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy and similar conditions … Viewer discretion is advised.
Exhibit 4 – FACE FRAMES
Material: old wire, 3D/OVA shapes
Tracing the lines of the face the frames become restriction: FACE > MASK > UNMASKED > IDENTITY > BODY
By wearing these frames, the movement of the body is affected.
How does the mask we wear everyday affect our movement? Our inner body? Our shadow? Inner emotions purge out of the face, uncovering the internal to external, the body construction reveals itself on the surface.
Exhibit 5 – Interactive – Self / Reflect
Material: aluminium mesh, 3D/OVA shapes
- Take a Selfie!
- And UPLOAD TO INSTAGRAM
- Instantly join the Stream of #Selfies from the UnMasked project community
Here you can create an illusion of a mask from the magnetic objects attached on the screen. You are invited to create your own cluster of a masked space where you can place your face surrounded or covered by the 3D objects, moving and reattaching them as you desire.
Please use hand sanitiser provided and follow COVID Safe Protocols.
Exhibit 6 – 3D / OVA by Sharka Bosakova
Material: Degradable filaments, neodymium magnets, marine quality strings
Creating a visual essay, a functional response to the current era of search for sustainability.
Sharka chooses eco-friendly, degradable based materials to work with. Utilising advanced manufacturing through fused deposition modelling, the value lies in its precision and functionality – where less is more.
This innovative design allows the creation of uniquely customised jewellery. Each component contains internal magnets to allow tailored orientation or a combination assembly with additional pieces.
Sustainability is central to the story. The additive manufacturing process privileges materials made from natural sources and generates less waste compared with traditional subtractive manufacturing methods.
Exhibit 7 – NEARLY SOFT SCULPTURES
Material: Steel frames, aluminium mesh, wire frames, 3D/ OVA pieces
The self-standing sculptural pieces are extending the idea of face or a mask into a space.
‘Through tracing and outlining the lines of our face in a frame, do those frames themselves become restrictive? Language and meaning often clash. We try to express ourselves through conventional signs and shared meanings, but even so, we always feel something more could be said about our emotions, our stories, our lives.
The plinth grounds our body, our mask or our face crowns our embodied selfhood, but do the frames still constrain those very emotions, stories, lives? Can we ever go unmasked?’