What's Behind The Mask ?
OOC: Mabelle will be making the clay masks for folk to take home to represent their art. Please come prepared to describe your mask so you can have a representation of your artwork once the event is complete or alternatively mail it later and receive it in after the event.
Oct. 16, 2021, noon
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Jayus Gallery of Art
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Fiore, the elegantly long-limbed androgyne arrives, following Caprice.
Supplies are set out upon several tables, filled with clay masks, paints, and other sordid decorations. Quenia is seeing to some last minute arrangements, making sure the snacks and drinks for the event are also placed in an area where folk can find them. Everything looks just about right, at least to her satisfaction, as she takes one last look around. "I don't expect these events to catch on right away. It might take some time," she explains to Mabelle. "But, I hope that over time more and more people will come."
Mabelle sets a few ready ceramic masks upon the tables for inspiration, smiling toward Quenia as she does, "Its been quiet around the city, its as if nobles are all driving back to their lands on weekends. Maybe I should do that too", she grins quietly and keeps settling things on tables.
"If only I could get to Granato in a weekend," Quenia remarks wistfully, "That would at least make winter months more palatable. Instead, it takes weeks to sail there."
3 First Legion Centurions, 3 Setarcan Royal Shields arrive, following Patrizio.
Caprice slips in with no proof of preparation beyond the paint-spattered smock draped over one of her arms. "My ladies," she floats out a cheerful greeting for the hostesses, "is it free for all or should we be sitting next to- oh, snacks!" Evidently Caprice has found her preferred seating!
(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: Supplies are set out upon several tables, filled with clay masks, paints, and other sordid decorations. Quenia is seeing to some last minute arrangements, making sure the snacks and drinks for the event are also placed in an area where folk can find them.
Mabelle collects one of the mask from the table and a paint brush and carefully begins to color it in grey, "Artshall is not so far, but traveling for a weekend can be quite tiring. Oh Hello Caprice", Mabelle radiates a smile for the woman. "Marquessa, would you like to go over what we're doing here today?"
(OOC)The scene set/room mood is now set to: Supplies are set out upon several tables, filled with clay masks, paints, and other sordid decorations. Snacks and drinks for the event are also placed in an area where folk can find them.
Whereas Patrizio's arrival comes with the usual fanfare of the boots of his entourage, the sextet looking... faintly askance at the fact that their commander is actually peeking in on an artistic moment, given their memories of the last time he attempted to do his imitation of his cousin Sebastian. But there's that easy smile that finds his features, and a pause, within the door, as he hears Mabelle directing attention to Quenia for instruction, which stills his making a greeting to the others for the moment.
Quenia gives a small nod of her head in Mabelle's direction. "Of course," she glances at those gathered around, offering a warm smile in greeting for those who've just arrived. "Welcome to What's Behind the Mask. This is the first in a series of events that I plan to hold across Arvum," yeah, her scope is that big, but she's starting right here in Arx, "where I will be challenging each of of Arvum's citizens to create a representative piece of artwork, either through craft or performance, that best describes who they are. I call it Project: Who Are You?." She glances around the room to see who else may have arrived and her eyes fall on Patrizio as he and his entourage enters. She nods in greeting in his direction. "Today, in the first of this lengthy series of events, we'll be painting masks; and as you paint them, I want you to consider how that mask might be a reflection of yourself, internally or externally, and how that might reflect to others within the world."
"A reflection of ourselves," Caprice pipes in with a question from over by the snack display, "or a -Reflection- of ourselves?"
Mabelle curves her lips at Patrizio as he enters and after Quenia's explanation, Mabelle elaborates, "It is coming from a place where we believed that by having a stronger sense of who we are, we are able to control all things in the world trying to take over our identity, or influence us in a harmful way, or a hive mind situation", she grins at Caprice, "Just the inner truth sort of thing", she winks as she continues to paint her own mask grey, "I've made a few here, you just need to paint them and decorate them as you wish".
Patrizio makes a soft sound, with the nod of his head to Caprice when she's speaking up, even as he takes a few more steps into the room, and there's a chuckle from the prince. "If only that were so easy, but agreed about preferably avoiding the hive-mind thing. Though..." A breath escapes him, and he's looking warily at the artistic implements before he muses quietly, "I suppose it requires one to /have/ an identity first." As if he does not.
Quenia has to think a moment on Caprice's question, given that reflection has so many different meanings. "Perhaps reflection is the wrong word to use?" she wonders. "More... what defines you as a person? What qualities or characteristics best represent you? Or, how you might have changed into the person you are today? What grounds you in your sense of being... well... you?" she ends up answering Caprice's question with a question of her own. She tilts her head in Patrizio's direction. "Indeed, it does. It requires you to know who you are, and not just your name."
Quenia adds, "Althougth, the purpose of the art project is also to explore that."
By the gleam in her eye, Caprice has an answer or at least a question for Patrizio, too! But she's a participant here, not a host; she sips to silence herself, leaving Mabelle and Quenia time to respond to the prince before she adds in any further personal commentary. "I would say we're all seeking the answer already, among others, and at our own paces. This, and I'm sure future events are only helping us sharpen our focus - actively seek the answer rather than seeing what floats up for us to pluck up and examine at leisure. If you only learn that you enjoy painting masks, that's still progress, wouldn't you say?" With her drink still in hand, the copper-haired couturier drifts back to the craft table to examine the masks available.
Mabelle admits to Patrizio, "I know who I am. I know who I was. I'm a bit confused on who I am supposed to be so right now I'm focusing on who I want to be", she smiles back to Caprice and Quenia, "I know its not the project, but its the best I can do for now". The edges of her mask begin to take a darker shade of black when she switches colors, "It will take some time, I suppose".
"Truth is that I know exactly who I am as well. Maybe not as well as other people, but..." Patrizio smiles, even as he's running a hand through that famous hair of his, and there's that playful smile as he's taking up a mask and... staring at it for several long moments, as if he /is/ effecting an imitation of his cousin Sebastian. And a breath slides free. "To thine own self be true, no?"
"That's the best thing though!" Quenia replies easily to Mabelle. "People grow and change over time. Who you are now was not who you were in the past, and not who you'll become. It's the total some of your experiences that make up the person you are today." She pauses as she thinks of an example. "For instance, the Quenia I was when I arrived in Arx is completely different. Her brothers had just sacrificed themselves in the Silent War, leaving her to be an untrained, untested Marquessa who only know how to dabble in social events. But that's not who I am now. I've learned. I've grown. I've become prepared to meet challenges that," she furrows her brow at the memory of it all, "were long beyond me to even imagine or consider." A pause, then a light smirk. "Well, some of them anyway. There's still things that elude me. But, there are also still pieces of my past that serve me well in the here and now that created the building blocks of who I am."
Caprice is still sorting, considering masks, but most of her attention is on the others here. She listens with genuine interest, eyes keen as they move from speaker to speaker; a rare, lingering smile blooms across her features, warmth evident for all that the curve of her lips remains subtle.
Mabelle gathers some semiprecious stones, dark and clear and begins to arrange them in some sort of pattern on one side of the mask, "Oh I have someone who reminds me all the time what I was like when I came to the city and how I've grown. And nother who insists I am involved with EVERYTHING", she laughs, "I remember barely leaving my room. But when I meant old self I meant.... old.. self", she makes a motion of a wheel.
Patrizio has taken up a mask, and draws it over to the table, which comes with the attendant looks from his entourage about what he is doing, and whether or not he /is/ going to art. A breath that slides from him. "I think it's safe to say that /all/ of us are different from when we arrived in the city," says he, as if Quenia's comment needed response, even as he's trying perhaps to draw inspiration from having the unadorned mask before him. "The question is what we learn from how being in our capital has changed us, and whether or not those changes give us lessons that help us to face the challenges that rise before us, or to serve our people better."
Quenia gathers a mask, picks out some gemstones herself, and selects a few paint colors and other tools to put everything together. She then settles down at one of the tables where folk can work. She glances over at Mabelle, furrowing her brow. "But your past life wouldn't have affected how you lived your current life," Quenia replies in response to Mabelle. "At least, not until you'd have learned who you were and decided to allow that to affect you. You're not that person. You're whoever you are now. At least, that's what folk kept telling me when I was asking questions about how a person would find out." She glances over to Patrizio. "They have certainly changed me," it's not even a matter of question for Quenia. "I no longer feel like the lost, unprepared girl who had her world swept out from under her feet and jumps at shadows after a veil was abruptly pulled away from her." There's a pause before she cautiously adds. "My first introduction to everything many people in Arx knows about, but those in Arvum do not, having a copy of a report meant to bring King Alaric caught up to speed after his long sleep thrust into my hands, and learning about all the horrible dangers there were in the world that I did not previously know about, in detail." Talk about a shock!
"Is that past self, whatever its influence over who you are now, something you care to share in more detail with us?" Caprice wonders to Mabelle, gently. She is now in possession of -several- masks and a wide-mouthed but shallow bowl. "There's an actual way to discover if you were someone before?" is questioned aside towards Quenia, before her attention drifts to Patrizio. Her mouth quirks - there's a question there - but maybe the conversation has already moved too far along to pose it to him now.
Mabelle lowers her mask a moment and contemplates, "I'm not sure its correct to say finding out did not affect me. I think... I think it did. I think it made me feel more confident and more.. in control but sadly stupidly brave so.. I'm not certain who we were has nothing to do with who we are, at least in form of perception".
"I would know not about past selves, though I'd also admit that I've the wisdom - or Sir Tiberio would call it the 'discretion' - to not ask myself too many questions about who I was, versus who I am." Patrizio /does/ have his moments where he waxes philosophical, but he's being in the moment, as much as he can be, as he's contemplating the mask before him, and while that mask - with a few strokes of his brush - now sports something that harkens to the tresses he bears, there are a few other strokes, as if the prince is contemplating what to add to the mask that should represent him. And a breath, before he offers up, "Being brave is rarely stupid. It's only when you let such override any sense of obligation or common sense that it becomes an issue."
"I've faced things I'd never even dreamed of facing before, some conceivable and some inconceiveable." Quenia says after a moment as she considers her mask. She washes it in white paint first, as a primer. She then seems to divide it in to three sections. The middle section she paints a deep indigo blue. She dabs delicate white puffs over the blue, and then adds duskstones in some of those blue spaces, which wink and twinkle like stars wherever they are placed. "And, there are some things I've dreamed that I'd never imagined would be true." The latter comment is mostly lost in some sort of thought of her own; she probably doesn't even know she's said it aloud as she's caught up in some thought or another, thinking on what next to add to the mask.
Her bowl is still empty, though Caprice has rearranged several of the paint options nearby to be within reach. Her focus has shifted to connecting the masks; eventually they will stack or separate with the help of tiny sliding knots, all anchored together through the eyes, but for the time being they mostly appear like really awkwardly-shaped wind chimes. "You know what this needs," she murmurs, to herself. Masks in hand, caught in the crafter's haze, Caprice slips out from the gallery in pursuit of - something!
Mabelle purses her lips, "No, I have been stupid", she assures Patrizio, "Dreams however are the first path to understanding. Normally they haunt you, but otherwise they can be very informative if you meditate and try to understand what it is you saw". Half a mask is now covered with zircons on the right side of it.
Fiore, the elegantly long-limbed androgyne leaves, following Caprice.
"The world we live in is hardly kind or gentle with us," answers Patrizio, as he's making a few further dashes of colour - it's telling, perhaps, that most of them are 'steel' or 'blue', given his house, but there's definitely some red and brown as well, as he emphasizes his nature as himself and as a warrior. A breath passes from him, but one might well notice that he's /not/ placing any stones upon his mask, no symbols of wealth or of inherited riches, as if there're things that he's willing to admit about his life, and the course he's taken. A glance in the wake of Caprice heading to the out of doors, but he shakes his head, that head lifting, and the jade eyes turned to Mabelle when she makes her pronouncement. "Stupidity is doing something we /know/ to be wrong. As Sir Tiberio would remind us, were he still with us. We all have moments where we need learn, and those still, soft silences are where we do such things."
Merek will slide a way into the gallery of art to look around while he pulls the dark attire he wears about him, and nods from the hood to people.
"Or," Quenia offers a counter to Mabelle's commentary on dreams, "they show you exactly what you need to see, but taunt you with the understanding staying just out of your reach for years." Her tone is rueful, as though that might be something she's experienced, her shoulders shrugging in a light motion. One side of the mask she paints in all black. She waits for that to dry first before doing that part. The other side remains white. Upon the white surface, she paints colorful symbols that might be akin to someone who might be a seeker of knowledge or keeper of secrets. They'd sometimes be one and the same really. "Sometimes you don't know something could be wrong," she's also countering what Patrizio says. "And you do it, and. . . " And, what? She furrows her brow. ". . . mistakes were made, and you feel stupid over them. Particularly if those mistakes continue to haunt you for a time afterwards. Taunting you." For good measure, she adds a crow's feather to the white side as well, as she talks about this. She discernibly grimaces at that crow's feather too.
Mabelle continues to inlay her mask and this time the other side is getting some black jetstones and other dark colored gems, "Dreams can be confusing, I will give you that. I never know if my sources are true or not, so.. maybe my whole perception of myself is wrong. It still affects me though and finding out it was a lie, will as well".
"I've never been much for trying to interpret my dreams," pronounces Patrizio as his attention briefly turns to Merek at his entry, and there's the dip of his head to the man as he's considering him, as if that's something to let him gather his thoughts for a few long moments. The paintbrush stilled while he's weighing how best to express himself, and.... A breath passes from the prince as he's shaking his head. "Mistakes are always made. And they haunt you, if you any want to try to do better on the next occasion. Which we should all wish to do, should we be fortunate to have that chance... I just know not that I /trust/ anything that comes to me from a past life."
Mabelle peeks aside at Merek, "Oh hello there", she lowers her mask a little, "Are you here to paint a mask?", she smiles to him and then considers Patrizio for a long time, "Anything?"
Merek listens to the talk about dreams, and pointedly doesn't comment upon it. Then he nods along to Mabelle, "I would like to paint a little though I don't think it'll be anything of note," he admits, while he pulls back the hood and slides his hair back into a spiky ponytail, while he draws his cloak about him.
Quenia glances over at Merek and dips her head in a nod. "Today's project is a challenge, asking that you paint the mask in a way that best represents who you are as a person. This is an art initiative I am working on across Arvum. Hopefully, some may be willing to donate their pieces for a time for an art tour. At least, once enough art projects have been completed," she offers in explanation to Merek. She then glances between Mabelle and Patrizio. She points to the crow's feather. "This represents a mistake. It was one that forced me to grow as a person. I attempted to do something that got the unwanted attention of another. I mean, I suppose it could have anyway. I just wasn't expecting it. Or him." She grimaces again, then looks back to her mask. The black side she paints in various shades of oranges, reds, and golds. When she's finished, it represents a burning flame, which has shadows of black around it, and light gray below it; ash. She looks it over carefully, and nods to herself. She sets it down on the table for it to finish drying and starts wandering around to see what others are working on and how they are taking shape.
Patrizio lifts his head - the better to listen to Quenia when she's describing what the mask means when she's showing off what she's doing, and that has those jade eyes of his dipping down to his own mask as if he's weighing how serious - or not - he is about the act of acting that he's going on about for those moments. And a breath, while he's nodding, before he murmurs, "That's what mistakes are for, though."
Merek looks between everyone and will nod a little bit, "Thank you, I will work on mine," he offers, then he's taking the time to pick up supplies and begin working while he finds a place to settle in.
Mabelle gazes at Quenia's mask for a long time, "That's clever. Do we need to explain ours though?"
"Only if you want to." Quenia says to Mabelle, grinning softly. "For me, mine... I don't mind telling so much." She goes to lean against the wall as she watches the others working. "It represents the core of my building blocks. I am Marquessa Quenia Igniseri, Dreamer, Seeker of Knowledge, Flame of Granato." At least, that seems to be how she sees herself. She looks over to Patrizio when he comments. "Maybe? If they allow you that chance. I think I'll always be looking over my shoulder though, wondering if it'll be my last day in the world, because I caught the attention of someone. . . something. . . bigger than me. I haven't let that stop me from moving forward though."
Patrizio offers a smile in the direction of Merek when he's joining the group in the decorating of a mask, though there's still little progress on his own - that blue-and-steel motif, the clear decoration that evokes his hair and.... Cracks here and there, done with a delicate, dark lining, as if there are things that the prince has on his mind as he's doing the thing, and preparing it. "I think that it's a matter of being secure in oneself, and being vulnerable," says he, with regards to Mabelle's question, and Quenia's answer, before another breath slides free and... he's not elaborating on his own artistic intent.
Mabelle turns her mask somewhat and admits, "Its not about vulnerability, just... I would assume that..", she lifts her mask, the inside is painted grey while one outlines are painted black. The right half is bejeweled with clear gemstones while the other half is inlaid with dark gemstones, "I would say... constant inner conflict. I think", she gives a sheepish smile at that.
"It's almost certainly both in my case." Quenia easily responds in kind to Patrizio's comment, chuckling softly. "And that's probably an understatement on my part. At least, in regards to the mistake made." She pushes off from the wall to go get a glass of wine from the table of snacks. She sips at it as she wanders around to look at masks again. "Everyone is doing such lovely work," she remarks.
Merek will keep on working along into the night, there isn't a lot else for him to do, and he enjoys that artwork.
"I don't know that what I'm doing is considered either artistic or wonderful," says Patrizio with a warm smile, and the shake of his head - he's still doing some detail work, which harkens to the fact that he's clearly capable of doing just that. But a breath slips from him when he's shaking his head, and there's the lift of his attention to see what others are doing too....
Quenia's own mask is on the table for others to see. Once she notices things are winding down she says, "Thank you everyone for coming. I appreciate that you took the time to help me with this task, in some fashion or another, and I hope at the very least you enjoyed exploring the question of 'Who Are You' at this event. There will be further events down the road, and I hope you consider coming to those as well. Feel free to continue working as long as you'd like. I'll stick around for a bit longer if anyone wants to talk or has questions or anything." That said, she does continue to go around as some stay behind to work. She notes Patrizio's work, the detailing and the like. "Prince Patrizio, it rather looks like House Pravus has more than one artist within its midsts."
Patrizio playfully snorts, though there's a warm smile for Quenia when she speaks up - even as he does, briefly, glance over to see how Merek's fairing, and then there's a smile for the Marquessa. "I would hardly think that I hold a candle to Bas," he says easily enough, and there's the shift to slide the mask a little further from himself, as he's drawing breath. "But I can do what it is that's my truth, at least as much as is encouraged. I haven't a hint of your talent either, my lady."
Something Patrizio says causes Quenia to chuckle softly. "Luck. That's my talent. Every now and again I can make something look like it should be, but otherwise I haven't any skill in artistry. I will be leaving the costumes for my dance I intend to do to the true craftsfolk." There's a pause before she notes. "I have one of Bas's pieces hanging in our great hall. Something he did based on one of my dreams, not one of his usual works of art."
"My cousin is very much a talent within our house. We're fortunate to have him, not just for the steady hand he gives to the tiller of our ship of state." Patrizio, never the sailor, has at least a good grasp on the terminology when he's grinning about his cousin to Quenia and there's a dip of his head. "But I do know the drive towards such things, even if I don't oft produce it myself." A glance at his mask, when he's briefly diverting his jade eyes, but a chuckle for the Marquessa nonetheless. "I do know the feeling, about leaving things to those better suited to executing them professionally. I hope that the dance comes out well."
"As do I. I plan on asking if any of the Whispers skilled in performance can help me with it. I've got the sure feet. I know what I want to do with it. It's the putting it all together in something understandable though? That part I lack. I want the dance to tell a story, if I can." Quenia sips at her glass of wine, furrowing her brow a bit. Every now and again she checks to make sure Merek is doing ok as well.
Patrizio seems, for the moment, to be done with his painting, and there's some consideration of the mostly - perhaps - finished mask and its varying hues as the prince of Pravus lets a breath slide free. "I wouldn't know from the Whispers who have talents in such. I know woefully few of them, admittedly. Softest Whisper Cesare and Whisper Ilira, and I'm sure on the latter, I'm getting her title wrong." Though there's the wave of a hand in the direction fo the door, an invocation of the retreated Mabelle. "Lady Mabelle might know who to recommend, however, in the wake of her setting up the Artshall district. I could inquire with others I know as well, if they might have ideas."
Quenia seems to perk up a bit at Patrizio's offer. "Oh, that would be lovely. Thank you." She gives him a warm smile. "Anything to help the project along would be apperciated." She sets her glass down on one of the tables. "I should be getting back to the manse and sneak some work in before my assistant shoos me out for 'fun' again. She really is a taskmistress," she confides in a conspiratorial manner, her expression amused.
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