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Masha Starikova

'Mask It!'

When I was a child, I used to visit my girlfriend after school almost every day. Often her mother met us with a cabbage leaf stuck under her eye. It turned out that this is a folk remedy for bruises, so that they pass faster. No one told me directly, but it was clear that the bruises on her face did not appear for nothing, but because her husband, an ordinary-looking man, was beating her.

A woman with a cabbage on her face is a memorable image and I made an object in which silver elements with stones can be replaced, if necessary, with spokes holding a cabbage leaf under the eye (silver castes with stones are rearranged at the ends of the arches). The central part of the object on the bridge of the nose indicates the scale of the problem of domestic violence in Russia, repeating the shape of "sechka", a device that can easily and quickly chop cabbage.

One of the reasons for creating this work for me was to reflect on the fact that women are forced to take care of their appearance, even in such a terrible situation as domestic violence. Women hide bruises and scratches on their faces for a variety of reasons, including that society requires them to look good. At the same time, masking the traces of beatings hides the problem from people who could help.


So my work is not body-positive at all. It is designed to mask imperfections on the face in a situation where a woman unfortunately has to do it.

This work is available for sale: $500AUD


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