The paper mask designs of Steve and Marianne Wintercroft are deceptively simple and hauntingly beautiful. With one simple sheet of cardboard the masks resonate with contemprary cultural life on several levels.
First, they conjure up contemporary pop culture references with overtones of Minecraft and other pixelated sandbox games, as well as masked superhero characters such as Ironman and Batman.
Secondly, they are also a statement on environmental awareness since the two UK-based designers made a conscious choice not to ship pre-made masks given the carbon footprint it would contribute to. Instead, they turned the masks into downloadable and printable templates.
Thirdly, the masks create an interesting encounter between online and offline personas. Creating and wearing a mask is always a transformative process, a way of bringing fantasies to life. With these masks, as the photos below demonstrate, there is often a sense of embodying the online world we inhabit on a daily basis.
Above all else though, these masks are great fun and make great creative construction activities for children and adults alike. The Wintercroft masks have been used in a wide range of contexts, from part masks to theatre productions and in music festivals and political demonstrations.
Note: all the images used in this post are copyright of Steve Wintercroft and they link to Steve’s mask designs available for purchase on the etsy.com website.
Although this one is billed as a "dragon mask", to me it could also stand in as a velociraptor/T-rex at a dinosaur party! In any case, this is just an amazing creation and the claws add that extra level of fun.
Wow, this is a very powerful mask. There is something timeless about the simplified polygon form of these masks. In this case it evokes a sense of Greek Mythology and the myth of the minotaur.
Here you can see one of Steve Wintercroft's masks in its raw cardboard form without decoration or paint. But it's amazing to see just how effective the polygon design is in creating animal likeness.