Tue, 05 Mar|
Dancing with Masks | Exhibition of works by Chris Vervain
A joyful celebration of the extraordinary richness of human experience
Time & Location
05 Mar 2024, 10:00 – 10 Mar 2024, 16:00
Margate, 31-33 High St, Margate CT9 1DX, UK
About the Event
Tuesday 5 to Sunday 10 March, 10am to 4pm
Private View: Friday 8 March, 6pm to 8pm
Chris Vervain enjoys contrast, apparent incongruity and surprise, like the stillness of a mask dispelled when worn and animated through movement and dance. She wants her art to be a joyful celebration of the extraordinary richness of human experience; its triumphs and defeats, a continuous journey of discovery, a perpetual transformation through colour, shape and form.
Much of her work has involved ancient Greek drama for which she makes masks and props, employs actors, dancers and musicians, writes feminist adaptations of the plays and puts on productions.
The idea of mask and dance has also inspired her art work more generally. In this exhibition she shows ceramic masks (decorative rather than theatrical) and paintings that have resulted from this. Many are semi-stylized representations of Mask with elements suggesting the varying rhythms of lively dance. Some are purely abstract; an attempt to capture in painting and expressive line a mood akin to the body in motion. Yet others are a playful exploration of the meaning of masking; its transformative power, its questioning of identity, its power to surprise and disguise, its humour and subversiveness, its connection with the divine and the eternal.
The whole cosmos is in motion and in that Universal Dance one form masks another only to be masked in its turn.
For the ancient Greeks their word for mask: prosopon also meant ‘face’.
In the words of T.S. Eliot:
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.
Discover more at
Chris Vervain is a visual artist, author and theatre practitioner. She has a degree in Fine Art from Hertfordshire University, an MA Text and Performance from King’s/RADA, and a doctorate on re-inventing masked Greek Tragedy from Royal Holloway College, University of London. She is married, loves walking, swimming and dance and has recently moved from London to Cliftonville (where she feels closer to some of her ancestors - fishermen of Deal, sailors of luggers.)