MASKE Phyllis Galembo

Maske Phyllis Galembo

Phyllis Galembo’s interest in the masquerade traditions of Africa and its diaspora began twenty five years ago, with her first visit to Nigeria. Since then, she has travelled widely in west and central Africa, and regularly to Haiti, making portraits that document and describe the transformative power of the mask. Her subjects are participants in masquerade events, both traditional African ceremonies and contemporary fancy dress and carnival, all of whom use costume, body paint and masks to create mythic characters – sometimes entertaining and humorous, often dark and frightening, and always powerful and thrilling.

(From Phyllis Galembo's website. Accessed on 22nd April 2014 at http://www.galembo.com/press/Phyllis-Galembo-Maske-press.pdf

I am inspired by this body of work for the styling element of my thrid shoot as well as the colours for all of my shoot and the "hand made" element of the garments.

I especially like the backgrounds in these photographs- they compliment the subjects without overwhelming them as there is already so much going on in the images. I will experiment with different backgrounds for all my photos- I want the photos to work as a set, so they will have to have both continuity and contrast, as in Galembo's Maske works. 

Despite the meximalist patterns, textures and overwhelming colours- the way that the photographs are presented in the book are very digestable and simple. The text and photos are laid out simply, the photographs are placed simply on each page with only the white boarder of the pages and no other images. I like this- I find that my own work can be quite overwhelming and busy in it's content, so I want to find a way to present it that is somewhat in contrast to this and each image can be seen clearly. 

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