“…Beneath this mask there is an idea…”

IMG_2536Earlier on in the Spring of this year we were lucky enough to have had the company of Etienne Champion, a mask maker and master of his craft for a 1 month residency project in our DR workshop.

Étienne creates original pieces of work incorporating not only the characters of the actors but shaping the masks to fit their function and works closely with the actors whom he is creating the masks for.

This visit of Étienne Champion to GSMD was organised to develop the work being done in the Drama department. It also presented an opportunity for our DR students to work and learn with Étienne and get an insight into a specialist craft.

Étienne was able to teach and demonstrate to our students the techniques required for maintaining the masks.

These masks were inspired by the ‘animal.’ This is reflected in the faceted nature of the sculpt.


Here George, one of our first year students, is learning how to repair and conceal the cracks in the surface of the wood.


Étienne also sculpted a series of masks based on sound. The deep grooves in the wood resemble sound waves. Whilst the shapes of the pieces were created to help amplify sound.


It was a pleasure to see Étienne at work and to watch the manifestation of his masks.

The 2nd year actors will use the masks during the autumn term 2016 in a new project exploring the ‘politics of the mask’.

We would like to thank Étienne for work and hope to see him again in the near future.

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