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OUT OF AFRICA

I am fascinated by the many ways different cultures called upon nature and the spirit world to bring about good fortune, cure illness, render an abundant harvest or a successful hunt. Ritual masks imbued the wearer with the power of what the mask represented, or contained magical properties important to initiating the young or commemorating ancestors and local deities.

Their graphic symbols invoked the awesome power of nature — suns and moons to honor the cycle of life, spirals for their association with the most elemental life forms, markings of totemic animals for their life-sustaining and mystical properties.

My appliquéd and quilted masks and figures call upon these works of art that were masterfully fashioned from native materials–wood, bark, straw, shells, seeds. I’ve tried to incorporate some of those materials in several of my pieces and have interpreted others with hand embroidery and beading.

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For more information or to make a purchase, contact me at: susan@quiltedbysusanheller.com