“Compulsion” is how Irish visual artist Thread Stories refers to her practice of producing wearable art objects, Sculpture graduate artist, who found working with hands on a material product is the remedy to a 10-year ‘paralysis through analysis’ the artist experienced after graduating. So now, she is thinking with hands, working intuitively, no design or drawings in advance, as she explains. Also not denying the influence of dance music has on the process.
Every item starts with a balaclava crochet, since the first time the whole project began. That balaclava acts as the surface to build the forms by adding yarns. The masks become a mean of obscuring oneself, while portraying a presentation of the person online, in her words ‘echoing the curated or false personas we portray and view online daily’. Often full-coverage, the masks also comment on personal privacy on social media, and the lack of it. It’s also amusing to see the correlation between Francis Bacon’s paintings and her works, a similar figurative approach is taken on rather experimental designs.
Masks are the subjects of the photographs, not considered as the artwork on their own by the artist; there to provide a point and to be deconstructed. Once photographed, the masks are reconstructed by the artist, “The mask loses its form as soon as it is removed never to be replicated exactly the same again”, she explains. But besides that quality of the objects, reworking on them allows the artist to be more experimental rather than precious.
Which one of these masks you like the most and would like to wear?