Shawn Hunt: Transformation Mask

  • ©2017, Shawn Hunt




    Transformation Mask


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    The Raven, the ultimate trickster, has become a cyborg. In this Creative Collab, Shawn Hunt moves away from engaging with the handmade; exploring authenticity and our expectations of what it means to be indigenous through the removal of the hand-carved surface. The work Transformation Mask, features Microsoft HoloLens, creating an experiential sculpture piece that engages with mixed reality.

    In this work, the mask appropriates the traditional aspects of metamorphosis with the transformation from bird mask to human, yet in this adaptation the human mask has been altered, upgraded, and merged with the machine. Incorporating aspects of technology, sound and space, each part of the work reflects Hunt’s interest in how we understand and identify with the term indigenous.

    This work presents a new trajectory for engagement and exploration of First Nations practice; one that points towards technology and innovation as aspects that expand traditional practices and open new avenues for interpretation.

Process Information:

    The fabrication process started with building a digital replica of the paper prototype mask provided by Hunt. The team leveraged the metaphor of a computer for guidance throughout the process: sleek on the outside juxtaposed by organized chaos on the inside. Additional smaller details like usb ports and venting carried the theme. The prototype mask was mounted on an aluminum skeleton for hinge measurements and then these same structures were digitally recreated and animated to ensure clearance during articulation. This process of simulating the physical model in the digital realm helped avoid complications in the hardware build. Complex compound curves were lofted to generate the primary beak and head surfaces while procedurally generated hex patterns fill the voids for the raven’s eyes and nostrils.

    The assembled mask is a meter long and comprised of over 20 individually 3D printed PLA and acrylic resin components. True to traditional form, there are no straight lines on the raven, a concept in direct competition with polygonal hard surface 3D modelling. From the ovoid shaped eyes to the gently sloping beak, each surface exhibits a sort of infinite tension.


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