I have not one, but two masquerade balls to go to this year so I’ve been planning costumes like mad – I’m thinking a multi-coloured, over-the-top, beaded and embroidered floral mask/headdress thingy with tassels and possibly Pom Poms? I realise this is incredibly ambitious; it might not actually happen.
Anyway all this mask planning has got me thinking about one of my all time favourite artists, Damselfrau/Magnhild Kennedy. She’s a self taught maker of the most unique and intriguing masks I’ve ever seen. If you don’t already follow her on IG, you must do so immediately.
Kennedy’s first masks were made as costumes for herself and her boyfriend to go clubbing in. At the time she was working in a vintage designer shop in Islington where the owner would let her sit behind the counter and work on the masks, so she was able to keep on making them. She learnt most of her skills from the clothes in the shop, turning them inside out to see how they were made.
Since those early days Kennedy’s works have been used by Louis Vuitton and Daphne Guinness, in theatre by playwright Lisa Lie, in exhibitions, and have even appeared in a Beyoncé video. Her next venture will take place at the Cob Gallery in Camden, London, this October where her friend Ben Ashton will display a series of photorealistic paintings of himself in the masks.
The images featured here are only a small selection of her works so take a look at her website to see more.