As a current artist in residence, Jaime Bull has busy exploring and sourcing materials from in and around Bernheim. She recently found some door screen material and began experimenting with making masks and costuming. The wire screen masks’ origins are rooted in rural southwest Louisiana and are traditionally made for Courir de Mardi Gras celebrations to conceal identities during a night of street revelry. Jaime is interested in the semi-transparency of these masks that create an uncanny sensation in which one can still clearly see the person wearing the costume but they are eerily camouflaged. She is thinking about this idea of transformation, a visible alter ego, a good side and a bad side, yin and yang.
This week Jaime had the great opportunity to continue experimenting with these masks when she led a children’s workshop in the Makers Space at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC). She and a number of museum visitors made a series of amazing masks by weaving metal wire through the holes in the screen to shape the forms and paint the surfaces. Finally, the masks were adorned with hand-dyed alpaca wool, standing in for ponytails, mustaches and beards. During the course of the day, the kids transformed themselves into lions, werewolves, Power Rangers, crazy haired ladies, skeletons and also bright patterned abstractions. What a fun day of colorful, playful exploration!