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v1.11 preface
v1.11 cover
v1.11 contents
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The Celtic Art Coracle volume 1 issue  11
Language of Ornament, continued
We can understand adornment better, and the experience of heightened significance that attends it,  by recalling the feeling of self- enhancement when we dress "up".

Wearing "make-up" also has this sense of transformation and improvement. Everyone who has ever dressed for a formal occasion has felt other than usual. And other than oneself. It is like the peculiar sensation of wearing a false-face at Halloween.

It is a part of the appeal of theatre, when the make-up convinces us that the character portrayed is real.

There is something discomforting about meeting a clown in full make-up, too. Interestingly, the word "Person" comes from the Latin for an actor's mask. We identify with the mask, however, and to see ourselves masked brings release from this continual pretence.

Thus at a fancy dress ball, men and women behave toward each other often without masking their true feelings, paradoxically, by the virtue of being masked.

The same sense of liberation from the personality which we maintain socially can be realized by walking down a strange street in a strange town while wearing sun-glasses. The excitement is subtler, but tangible enough.

The shock value of the mask is used in other cultures to even greater effect as where the extravagance of a carnival is intensified by a religious intent where the participants dress to represent the powers they invoke. In dressing up to represent a divinity, the participant identifies with that divinity.

 

The Celtic Art Coracle Vol 1
Contents Coracle Press 1983
ISSN 0828-8321 
All Rights Reserved
10.02.01edition
coracle@thecoracle.tripod.com

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