A Mask Hunting Expedition in Berlin

In January 2017, Dr. James Green, Lecturer in Fine Art, took students from Cardiff School of Art & Design BA courses to Berlin on a Mask Hunting Expedition.

The trip was part of the second year Field module project Magical Objects: Masks and Reliquaries of the World. This project encourages students to consider the ways in which masks and other magical objects, such as reliquaries and Magic Soap, influence art. Students looked into the history of mask making, artists who are inspired by masks and magic, and spend five weeks creating artwork inspired by authentic masks.

The trip to Berlin allowed students to visit the Pergamon Museum, Neues Museum, and Altes Museum, which house ancient art from Greece, Italy, Egypt, Samaria, North America and other places. Students also visited many of the contemporary galleries that Berlin has to offer.

These amazing collections and galleries allowed students to make drawings from genuine ancient artefacts, and modern and contemporary art, to inspire their work when they returned to Cardiff School of Art & Design.

The Cardiff Met library is currently hosting a cabinet of curiosities filled with powerful magical objects created by second year students who took part in the Magical Objects project.

This project discovers how early humans may have used masks for magical purposes in the caves of Trois-Frères, how artists used masks to reinvent Western art traditions, and how masks are used in festivals and traditions in contemporary world culture.

This project draws together theories, ideas and beliefs involved with ritualistic artwork from different parts of the world.