The Snake Mask

A photograph of the partially-completed snake mask next to a pile of shed snake skins

I started working on the Snake Mask in January 2022, and it has sat partially made for a full year now. I think it’s time to finish it. I don’t know why it’s been such a blind spot for me over the last twelve months.

Technically it’s a head-dress rather than a mask, and will be accompanied by more bits of shed snake skin as body adornments - wrapped around limbs, hanging draped from the shoulders, etc. The “snake skull” base of the head-dress is made from sculpting foam, painted with acrylic paint, and articulated with copper wire.

The shed skins come from the pet snakes of a life-model who I’ve worked with for several years now, and since the skins are shed regularly and naturally as part of the snakes’ normal growth then absolutely no harm is done to the snakes by using the discarded skins in my artwork.

The mask/head-dress/costume will eventually be used for some photographs as part of my Acid Renaissance series, with the life-model I mentioned earlier modelling for them (and possibly accompanied by one of her pet snakes).