This is the second of three photographs from the “Ivy Mask” series where the figure is reaching out of the image towards the viewer.
In this one the gesture is more threatening, the hand now palm-down, fingers splayed. I’m undecided whether it’s a threat of physical attack or something more supernatural.
Incidentally, I love the spiral tendril of ivy visible on the palm of the hand.
About the Ivy Mask series
The “Ivy Mask” photographs are a slight departure from my recent artwork where I’ve been working with existing mythological characters. While ivy is mentioned in various mythologies, and was symbolically connected with Dionysus/Bacchus, I know of no actual mythological character embodying or representing it, although obviously there may have been many ivy deities whose stories have been lost. As such this character is my own invention.
The mask was made using a blank Venetian Volto-style mask, painted then adorned with fake ivy. More fake ivy was then used to drape the model, imitating the way that ivy grows up trees.
A high-resolution version of this photograph is included in Paul Watson’s 2016 book of artwork Myth and Masks, available exclusively from our online shop.