Vallely An Masc exhibition on display

Members of the Armagh Rhymers visiting the Burnavon and wearing some of the masks from the forthcoming An Masc exhibition (8th ' 21st November)'

Members of the Armagh Rhymers visiting the Burnavon and wearing some of the masks from the forthcoming An Masc exhibition (8th ' 21st November)'

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AN MASC (The Mask), a bilingual exhibition including Dara Vallely paintings will be on display and open to the public in the Burnavon, Cookstown from Tuesday 8th November - Monday 21st November. Moreover, there will be a talk, The Story of the Mask, in the Burnavon on Saturday 19th November at 11am led by Gerry Oates. This will be free of charge, bilingual and you will be warmly welcomed.

The An Masc exhibition is made up of three parts; panels which give in Irish the history of masks around the world (translation will be available); paintings by Dara Vallely; and examples of masks, some of which come from Ireland, Mexico, Africa, and a collection made by local makers from around the Lough shore – each with their own story.

Vallely uses the image of the mask in his paintings to evoke the traditions of past generations and their influence on us and also to illustrate the altered spiritual state of the musician and performer.

As individual objects or part of an elaborate costume, masks disguise or protect the human face. They come in many shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of materials. Masks are worn by surgeons and welders, by carnival performers and actors in theatres. Whether for Halloween pranks or more sinister purposes, masks disguise the wearer, entertain the viewer or terrify the victim.

In western society, tribal masks, particularly those from Africa, are most commonly known and admired as works of art. Yet for the people who made and used them, they had a much deeper meaning. Most masks formed part of a costume, allowing the wearer to take part in elaborate rituals.

Admission to the exhibition is free and opening hours are as for normal Burnavon opening times, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm and evenings of schedules performances at the theatre.