Contact: james.green@network.rca.ac.uk

The Masks

I began making masks after seeing David Lynch’s ‘The Elephant Man’. After seeing it my mother saw this film while having me, and freaked out in case she had an ‘Elephant Man baby’.     

At the time I was looking at Rembrandt’s self-portraits throughout his life, which tell us as much about him (probably more) than a diary or an autobiography. I began to wonder what Joseph Merrick might have done if he made self-portraits. Not only would they form a record of how his elephantitis affected his appearance, they would provide a window into his mental states.

I have made masks ever since. They have moved away from the original set entitled ‘The Life and Times of John Merrick’ (He’s known as ‘John’ in Lynch’s film). To incorporate colours, patterns and styles inspired by artefacts from all over the world, and are know known as ‘The Masks of The Rhondda’.

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