The De La Warr Pavilion Young Creatives latest event was in conjunction with the opening of Caroline Achaintre’s Fantômas exhibition.

Fantômas is a wonderfully playful show that incorporates ceramic sculptures and large hand-tufted wall pieces. Each work has a resemblance to primitive masks and has been given a unique ‘character’ by the artist.

I was asked to record the group’s thoughts on the show. One of the many ideas that we discussed  was the feeling of putting on a mask and assuming a different identity. Some members of the group have experience in performing and so talked about the importance of putting on make up as a mask in order to get into the character and help the suspension of disbelief. One of the group even came up with the idea of putting on a ‘morph suit’ and going about town without anyone knowing who they were.

I found it fascinating how engaged the group were in thinking of the different situations where a ‘mask’ can be used. Before going into the exhibition for this session, the idea of a mask, for me,  was perhaps full of mainly negative connotations. The images of World War II gas masks and notable film villains all have the element of the macabre. This group however seemed to be constantly looking at the benefits of putting on a mask. For instance, they mentioned that while at an event such as Hastings Gay Pride, the donning of glitter and makeup on your face could be seen as a ‘mask’. Not in the sense of hiding away but to perhaps amplify your true self.

Fantômas is a show that certainly sparked some enlightening discussions in the Young Creatives, even down to what colour some of the plinths are! From this session and the thoughts of The De La Warr Young Creatives I think we are able to see elements of this exhibition from a different perspective.

Written by Roland Squire

Find out more about the Young Creatives Posted by Tara Neville on Tuesday 30 January 2018