While this piece started as just a poster for the show, it ended up becoming so much more. One of the main themes in this work is communication. It's both the duality of Earnest communicating with himself and the struggle he faces with the truth and the long back and forth between the artist and the director. As seen in the final piece, both parties, the mask, and Earnest himself, are smiling, as they are content with the job that they have done.
The colors present in this piece were deliberate and the palette was constructed for accessibility to the final painting. Jack is represented with reds and the mask, which is a nod to Algernon, draws from purples. The palette was mainly based on one of the more iconic color sets from the show, in Algernon’s house, with the symphony of golds, reds, and purples that are present there (Thanks for making such a great set, Mr. Silence! It helped a lot with the inspiration for this one). At a point in the process there was discussion about using desaturated colors for a more old-timey feel, but this interpretation of the piece is more modern in technique, and it gives a nice little nod to the work that all the actors have done to make the show their own, while still working with old materials.
Another theme present in the deeper meaning of this painting is the balance between complex imagery and simple presentation. The mask went through a lot of iterations and it finally landed on the mirror image of Jack’s face pretty close to the end of the process. It sums up the rift within Jack’s character in a succinct little package, and the small differences between the real face and the mask tell an entrancing story. The mask also points quite nicely to all of the contradictions within Jack, like with his Christian name and his real identity. The last real impactful meaning with the mask is that it is semi-representative of Algernon as well. His struggles align closely with Jack’s underneath all his witty banter and flashiness, and this piece brings both of them together. While Jack isn’t so much trying to hide, he is cognizant of the fact that he performs for people, just like the actors in this play.
The last little thing that I’d like to mention is that this was a really fun process. I personally am incredibly glad that the final result turned out so well and that both Mr. Silence and I enjoy the outcome. It was a long journey to now but doing this at the same time as being in the production was wonderful and it provided insight on both my art and my acting! So thank you again, Mr. Silence, for giving me the opportunity to make something I really appreciate.
Costumer designer statement
Costume support statement