Miya Turnbull

Works on Display

  • <p>A self-portrait of a woman wearing an abstracted paper mache mask. The mask itself is also a<br>self portrait, featuring the facial features (eyes, eyebrows, nose, and lips) of the artist as printed photographs, creating an uncannily realistic appearance. The features on the mask are distorted and rearranged, illustrating the piece’s title, “Feeling Discombobulated.”</p>
  • <p>A series of six self-portraits of a woman wearing paper mache masks with realistic human<br>features in front of a white background.<br>1. A woman with brown hair wears a paper mache mask. The lips, eyes, and nose are<br>made of printed photographs, creating an uncannily realistic appearance. The mask is<br>broken into 8 strips, and each strip weaved together and offset, distorting the<br>appearance of the face. The woman touches the mask with both hands.<br>2. The woman turns her face to the right to ¾ profile, showing off more of the mask’s<br>features. Her own face is just slightly visible under the mask.<br>3. Some strips of the paper mache mask are now missing, displaying the artist’s own chin,<br>bangs, and eyebrows.<br>4. 4 strips of the mask remain. The artist holds the remaining fragments to her face, with<br>her nose now visible.<br>5. The last fragment appears to be falling down, almost as if in motion. The artist holds her<br>hands up to the bottom of her face.<br>6. The artist stares directly ahead, now maskless.</p>

Miya Turnbull, Canada Multi-Media Sculpture; Paper, Digital Photography, and Spandex

Self-Portrait Variations

Throughout the pandemic, I have been making wearable masks, which can be art pieces on their own. Over and over, I create new variations of my “self” through masks, sculptures, photos and video. My self-portraits are often altered - I change the placement of and erase select facial features, or I create other extreme manipulations resulting in distorted representations, as a way to explore identity.

As a result of the pandemic, the world’s landscape has changed, whether in public amongst a sea of covered faces or in images of masked people from around the world. I still find it surreal. Part of me feels invisible when I am masked, which is both positive and negative at the same time. There is a new awareness of the relationship between masks and our bodies as we’ve incorporated them into our daily lives. Perhaps there is also a new awareness that we wear other masks too.

  • <p>A series of self-portrait images displays the sequence of a rice paper mask crumbling away from<br>a woman’s face. In the first image, the artist holds a gray rice-paper mask over her face.<br>Throughout the series of images, she presses the mask to her face repeatedly as the mask<br>crumbles into smaller and smaller pieces. It crumbles away at her touch, even as she attempts<br>to hold it to her face. Throughout the series, the mask becomes more fragmented. In the last<br>image, the mask falls away displaying the artist’s face.</p>
  • <p>A series of images displays a woman holding life-sized photographs of herself in masks and<br>face paint over her face. Each photo is taken of the artist’s chest up and the photographs the<br>artist is holding lines up with her shoulders. Many of the images are distorted via digital editing<br>or double exposure, creating an eerie atmosphere. The images are meant to be reminiscent of<br>the Zoom call layout, and can be seen as a video call with all the artist’s different selves.</p>
  • <p>A series of twelve self-portrait photographs displaying a woman wearing origami sculptures as<br>partial masks. The sculptures include paper cranes, frogs, boxes, cootie catchers, and<br>butterflies. Each origami sculpture is printed with a photograph of one or more of the artist’s<br>facial features. She holds the masks so that the printed feature covers that portion of her face.</p>
  • <p>A self-portrait of a woman standing up, leaning forward slightly in a nude, spandex bodysuit with another nude full-body bodysuit draped over her. Her elbows are angled upwards with a squared appearance. The body suit hangs on her face and drapes in front of her body, down to the floor. The arms of the suit loop over behind her own and hang behind her arms, creating the illusion of four arms.</p>
  • <p>An abstract self-portrait of a tan bodysuit draped over an obscured figure. The figure wears a<br>black bodysuit, blending seamlessly into the black background. This creates the illusion of the<br>tan suit floating in space. An uncannily realistic paper mache mask of the artist’s face lays at the figure’s feet.</p>
  • <p>A compilation of several photographs in a four by four grid taken during the artist’s performance with &amp;#39;skin&amp;#39; suits (tan body suits). The artist’s body is obscured by a black bodysuit, which blends into the black backdrop seamlessly. She poses dynamically, draping the tan body suit over herself, creating twisted, abstract poses. These poses express movement and gestures, reminiscent of letters in a written language. Attached to some of the poses, and detached from others, are paper mache masks of the artist’s face.</p>