Looking behind the mask

THEY conceal, protect, scare and amuse.

Masks have a certain something which fascinates.

And the secret of that fascination is being unmasked at an exhibition at Cannon Hall Museum in Barnsley.

Behind The Mask is on loan from the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre in Glasgow.

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And the staff at Cannon Hall hope it will appeal to art lovers, mask enthusiasts and families alike.

A spokesman for the museum said: “Mask theatre is an ancient tradition and many great civilizations have used masks as objects to protect, disguise, celebrate and transform their view of themselves and others.

“Masks have always held a fascination and a magic everybody can relate to.

“The exhibition taps into that magic and provides a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with objects of wonder and the tools used to make them.”

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The exhibition includes masks from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Italy and Greece.

Made from wood, leather and cast in fibreglass they have been used in theatres, festivals and rites of passage ceremonies.

Video footage of masks used in theatre and folk festivals accompanies the display.

The exhibition is at Cannon Hall Museum until Saturday, October 9, and admission to the museum and exhibition is free.

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Visitors can also join in fun workshops where they can make masks and hear stories about Barnsley’s exciting history.

Workshops take place at 11am at Cannon Hall on Monday August, 8, 15 and 22 and at the Cooper Gallery on Tuesday August 16 and 23.

The sessions are £5 per participant and limited to 20 people, so booking is essential.

For more information and to book a place on one of the workshops call Cannon Hall Museum on 01226 790270 or the Cooper Gallery on 01226 242905.