stephen jon
workshop facilitator

                   

As an artist I seek for ways by which to address contradictions and paradox. “The Mask” has given me a form with which I can play with the paradoxical nature of human experience. “The Mask” is an object of concealment which will also reveal.

This paradox contains the seeds of many other contradictions; is mask work an art or a craft? When is it art and when is it therapy? Is it an individual or a collective experience?

Of course it is all of these things. “The Mask” acts as a doorway into the world where the imagination is free to wander among mythic beings that transform and transport the mask player to where the unexpected can and will occur. I use “The Mask” as a utilitarian object, not as a piece of decoration. This tool of theatre might draw upon the sister arts of poetry, movement, sound and music to support some kind of ritual or drama.

Everyone has a relationship with the idea of “The Face”. We all have one and we all learn to read them for signs. Everyone of us is our own expert. For the sighted, it is probably the first identifiable object. So everyone brings their own unique experience to the work. In my approach to facilitation I believe that everyone has existing knowledge and to develop[e that must become aware of what they already know. I work with a wide range of ages and abilities, from six years old through to elders, adults with mental health experiences and those with special needs. I will consider working with any group as long as the conditions are right and the appropriate support is in place.