Doors Showcase is pleased to present Damselfrau, the first solo exhibition by self-taught maskmaker Magnhild Kennedy.
Damselfrau, which means MaidenWife in German, is also the Norwegian artist's pseudonym. This abstruse play with language and identity signals the artist's penchant for layered meanings and her desire to defy simple interpretations. Her masks are not merely objects of beauty displaying her craftsmanship or just a device of titillating self-concealment for the wearers. They are artifacts loaded with history and stories.
Whether exquisitely beautiful or seemingly absurd, the masks are made with delicate fabrics, embroideries, beadings and paint. Materials are gathered from far-flung places and different eras - lace inherited from Norway's first feminist, hair from old Japanese Geisha hairpieces, glass beads picked off the Christmas decorations off Champs-Elysees. They allude to the intimate relationship between past and present as well as the tensions created by fusing these diverse elements.
Magnhild Kennedy lives and works in London. She has been practising as a maskmaker since 2007. Her masks have been acquired by private collectors and worn by acclaimed electronica duo Royksopp. Damselfrau opens at Doors showcase, a new gallery in Shoreditch, on 21 October, continues until 26 November 2011.