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Courtney Hogan

With a mask, especially in the times of a world health pandemic, it’s interesting in two ways. In one way we now wear them to protect ourselves and others physically. There is also the personal side to the mask as we are all spending much more time alone or with a smaller group of people – with endless time to look further into ourselves and perhaps see parts we don’t normally reveal. In turn, we can also see other people as our mirrors as we have less distractions. There becomes this physical representation of the inner and outer worlds which we all contain, which can also parallel to the new distances created between being inside and outside literally from our houses. These are handmade masks finished during June-July 2020 during Melbourne’s more open part of winters lockdown. One of these I had started over year ago but became a project on the side. Upon having a lack of inspiration for new projects and more time than ever I was able to finish this off and make a few others. My housemate Mae Hartrick is really interested in styling and photography, so naturally, this led to us tossing up the idea of having an at-home shoot combining our creative interests.

I live in a six-person share-house where we all normally in orbit at different rates. It’s hard enough to get a few of us home at the same time on a Friday night, let alone a group of us. As this series of masks were created while the world outside was ever-changing around us and we all were becoming more in sync by the day. All of us worked together to combine our skills from makeup, styling, creativity and photography. Throwing together our wardrobes, assorted lamps for lighting, coloured light bulbs from Bunnings, big sheets for backgrounds and a desire to create a few memories. We managed to get very dressed up, pop a few bottles and live a cute escapist fantasy for the night. Now we also have some incredible photos to remember this time from the middle of a very strange, confusing, uncertain winter.

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