Hartlepool artist’s display unmasks a whole range of emotions

Danny Short and some of the masks he has made, now on display at The Artrium, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool.
Danny Short and some of the masks he has made, now on display at The Artrium, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool.

A whole host of human emotions are represented in a new display of work by a young Hartlepool artist.

More than 25 masks created by Danny Short, 23, are on show in Hartlepool Artrium Gallery in Middleton Grange shopping centre.

One of Danny's masks depicting the feeling of envy.

One of Danny's masks depicting the feeling of envy.

Danny, a volunteer at the art centre, uses masks to represent a diverse range of psychological conditions and how to overcome them by facing up to them.

He said: “The masks themselves are very diverse due to the use of found and salvaged materials and the inclusion of electronic elements such as flashing lights and motors, as well as ultraviolet reactive paint.

“The main concepts surrounding the artworks consists of facing fears, distortion of perception and representations of various psychological conditions.”

Danny made them using a variety of materials including clay, leather, bone and metal.

Electronic lights and the way they react when an ultraviolet pen is shone on them give them extra layers of appearance and meaning.

Among the emotions and conditions represented in individual masks include envy in a striking example entitled The Host and the Parasite Poison Envy, sleep deprivation and anguish.

Danny, who previously studied at Cleveland College of Art and Design, added: “They are generally theatrical and horror themed.

“A lot are quite surreal and based off nightmares.

“Some people who see them look quite scared and other people are drawn in by it.

“They look quite scary at first, but they are not really.

“The idea is if you can look at something from a different way you can overcome what is holding you back.”

Each mask is accompanied by a short story expressing the themes behind them.

The display lasts for two weeks.