‘Life-like depictions’ in Acadia exhibit



SaltWire Network



Masks have both an inward and outward aspect as demonstrated by Halifax artist Miya Turnbull’s new exhibit at the Acadia University Art Gallery. “My sculptures, origami, photographs and video are all extension of my mask work,” Turnbull said. “I am drawing from the traditional uses of masks worn for disguise, transformation and protection, as well as a metaphor for persona, archetypes and identity,” she noted. “Each different self-portrait is a way I can explore variations, my experiences, perceptions, inner world and my mixed Japanese Canadian heritage, making these visible, tangible and wearable.” She adds in her artist statement, “ironically, I am placing my likeness on the front of the mask at the same time concealing my face behind it. I can then manipulate how you see me and reveal only certain parts of me.” Turnbull explained at the recent opening that her masks are “lifelike depictions of my face and are constructed from papier-mâché and photographic collages. I am drawing from the history of masks, typically used in ritual and in theatre, as a metaphor for identity, self-image and archetypes.” “I am interested in the space in between defined margins; where one cultural race becomes another, where beauty turns into the grotesque, where the outside persona turns inward and vice versa,” she noted. Turnbull is a multi-disciplinary artist, working in a variety of mediums including mask making, painting, printmaking, felting and animation. She grew up on a thirdgeneration family farm in Alberta and has lived in Halifax since 2002. Turnbull completed her bachelor of fine arts at the University of Lethbridge in 1999 and lived in Montreal for two years before settling down in Nova Scotia. She has exhibited her artwork in solo and group exhibits in Halifax and also across Canada. She has facilitated youth-oriented visual art workshops through schools and arts organizations in Nova Scotia since 2003. Curated by Laurie Dalton, Turnbull’s exhibition runs until Feb. 9. It is closed for university break, Dec. 10 to Jan. 9