In 2011, I was invited to Touch of Class; a group exhibition, organised by the awesome girls of Tough Titties, as part of the Sydney Design Festival. The refined and elegant doily has been kicked into the 21st century. Myself and another 20 designers / illustrators were asked to create works using oversized paper doilies as their canvas. We were asked to respond to the concept, using whatever technique they choose, by considering the juxtaposition between their contemporary design and the utilitarian purpose of the doily.
My idea was based on anonymity; I was surprised to learn that so many doily designers are unknown. These days, even if you’re a commercial artist and therefor you can’t ‘sign’ your piece, you still ‘claim’ your work via your portfolios, online exposure, etc. To learn that so many doily designers have remained anonymous intrigued me. So I did an illustration themed on that. I created another doily, but this one features two eye holes in its centre, and is used as a mask. A mask that can hide identity. Or a mask that invites the viewer to look behind the doily and think about the person who designed it. The background is a pattern made out of faces / question marks. To laser cut the design into the doily made sense. After all, this idea is all about anonymity, and by cutting faces out of paper, they immediately dissappear again.
Big thanks to James McDougall for his help on this one.