Growing up in a family of artists, Magnhild Kennedy (aka Damsel Frau) was destined to become an artist herself. But if her path was obvious, her choice of material wasn’t. The Norwegian-born London-based artist is a master of mask making, with her masks serving much more than a simple costume.
“I never actually studied anything relevant to design or to mask making,” she admitted in an interview with Vogue. “But I did grow up with two parents who were fine artists. My dad also taught at a few different art academies around Norway. I grew up around their artist friends. There was always art material lying around to make things with and I suppose it tuned my eye from an early age.”
Her creations began as a sort of experiment with costume-making while working in a vintage shop. They’re made from everything and anything – from samples of hair from a two-hundred-year-old Japanese geisha hairpiece to everyday objects found in the street. Those are assembled in carefully crafted pieces that are in and of themselves an exploration of textures and patterns.
“The whole process starts with whatever material I’m interested in,” Kennedy explained. “I connect with materials on an emotional level. I don’t draw or sketch, but instead just sculpt and let the materials lead the way.”
This is one artist you’ll definitely want to follow on Instagram.