Materials: Murano hand blown glass
Dimensions: 35 x 8 x 45h cm
Exhibition history: 2021 La Patinoire Royale Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels, Belgium; 2020 Unbreakable: Women in Glass, Fondazione Berengo Art Space, Murano, Italy
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta. Photography Francesco Allegretto
Lucy Orta brings life to mask drawings she began in response to the COVID-19 lockdown in her Parisian studio this March. Drawing was an antidote, a way to overcome the anxiety sparked by the pandemic. She had been archiving images of masks from a diverse range of cultures and rituals for several years and used this intense period of questioning to reflect on ways to embrace the mask in a positive way. Observing their characteristics more closely, she began by extracting the defining features from the original source, to recompose designs with infinite variations. The playful hybrids redefine the mask’s identification with fear. They are objects that connect us across continents, rooted in ancient rituals and spirit belief systems. Lucy Orta was able to give form to her drawings in the Berengo Studio glass furnaces in Murano. Using the medium of glass to express the duality of transparency and opacity, two densities that emphasize the concept of masking. Masking, to conceal and reveal at the same time, to express an inner identity, a mask as a metaphor of transformation of material reality into spiritual essence.