Alexia Behar


Class of: 2027

Major: Strategic Design and Management BBA

Medium: Aluminium Strips, Plaster Cloth, Tape, Spray Paint, Clay, and String

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: This project aims to redefine our subjective understanding of beauty and create a mask that encapsulates the essence of beauty. To make things more challenging (and fun!), students should use only linear materials and mechanical connectors instead of traditional adhesives.

Inspired by the one of the main deities of Candomblé, Iemenjá – goddess of the sea and mother of other orixás – I wanted to make a mask that displayed the beauty of the sea whilst materialising one of nature strongest forces: the sea. Similar to the function of a mask, Candomblé practitioners would have catholic saints with hidden initials of the orixás they believed in, concealing their true faith. However, for this mask, I intend to do the opposite. I want to design and make a piece that is a crown, that celebrates the ocean, the water and its power. Like many of the depictions of Iemenjá, the garment should give the wearer the quality of being fantastical and mystical. In the rituals performed by Candomblé practitioners, wearing a mask conceals their ‘humanness’ and it allows them to access spirits of their ancestors. Inspired by this concept, the crown gives the user the identity of being neither completely human, neither completely scared. It masks the human’s humanity, and it also masks the spirit of the invisible world. Thus, the mask borders on a territory of in between human and holy. I also want a mask that will engage the viewer into reflecting. I want to bring into question how in the past humans have worshipped nature and how we abuse of it and disrespect it today. How the relationship changed and is unequal now, almost as if we feel we are the gods, to treat the world as we currently are doing today.