The Face between Us shines a light on aspects of our assumptions towards normalcy and otherness by focusing on the face, a symbol of identity, a portal for communication, and an arena for self-representation. We all have a face, this unites us. The face, however, acts both as a canvas for our true, inner-self as well as a mask - protecting our emotions from others. The face unites, divides, reveals, and deceives.
People with neurological diversities experience challenges in reading, interpreting and reacting to facial expressions, often leading to social isolation or poor mental health due to “masking” (the hiding of one's authentic self in return for perceived social acceptance). Can illustration contribute to the understanding of empathic processes, leading to increased compassion and understanding within our interpersonal relationships?
This research project investigates both digital and analog animation techniques alongside traditional craft materials used to create everyday objects, such as textiles and ceramics. May an extended use of illustration, combining time-based media and tactile elements, expand the experience between imaginary storytelling and sensorial physicality?
An essential method and core element in this research project is the aim of understanding the dynamics of the illustration, the illustrated, and the illustrator from an ethical perspective. Utilizing participatory work methods, the project will focus on a personal micro-history. Working from within the frames of critical design theory, the research project aims to contribute artistically as well as ethically to expand the field of illustration.