Composite Photograph, Archival Inkjet on Museum Rag, 50x40; Limited Editions of 5
The jumping off point for this mask is a psychological concept called the ‘Pollyanna Principle‘, explaining our mind’s tendency toward “positivity bias”; seeing and experiencing things more positively than they actually are.
The term was named after a character in Eleanor Porter’s novel ‘Pollyanna’ and is a common label for optimists.
In this mask, light pink flowers represent the sweetness of Pollyanna and the dominant over-scaled blooms are a nod to her hyper-focus on “the bright side of things”. Upon closer look, sharp edges of the foliage create perhaps a more ominous feeling in the mask, an under shadow of the initially perceived cheerfulness.
Putting on a positive and happy “face” is rewarded in our culture; the silent pressure to hide negative feelings can push us to wear a version of the Pollyanna mask, which weakens us.