Norah Atienza

Cultural Mask

Class of: 2026

Major: Illustration BFA

Medium: Golden Copper Wire, Gold Beads

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: In this project, students are tasked with developing a 3D 'hybrid mask' inspired by elements of an ancient culture, principles of beauty, and personal interpretation of its usage in the current time.

For this project, I wanted to convey something beautiful that represents my culture and what I perceive as beautiful. In order to do so, I created a crown attached to a larger halo. Cultural elements of my piece were inspired by the ancient gold filigree of the Philippines. I imitated the delicate swirls within their jewelry with thin, gold wire, as well as golden beads to add more texture.I was inspired by the Filipino national flower, sampaguita, as well. I made each flower with the same gold wire, and had them hang above the crown from the halo to create a more mystical effect. As a child putting on a crown made me feel elegant and princess-like. Having always appreciated the beauty of flowers as well, I think I’ve created something my younger self would’ve loved to wear. I hope that my crown could make anyone feel beautiful, while also representing my Filipino roots which were underrepresented growing up.