Masters of the Mask : an exhibition report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Māori Visual Arts at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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In Aotearoa, there are exponential pressures and stigma associated with being male. Males are expected to be strong, not show emotions or worse hide themselves behind a mask. These traits have affected men’s mental health and wellbeing, resulting in the highest suicide rates for young Māori males (15-24 years old) in Aotearoa. I make use of the literature review to examine artists who specialise in using text and self-portraiture within their work, providing a pivotal reference for the development of my art making and research. In conjunction with this I explore my own practice and the development that occurred from the initial exhibition Te Matatau (Te Manawa, 2020) culminating in the creation of my thesis exhibition, Masters of the Mask (Lysaght Watt, 2021). Along with the development of my mahi toi and research, I make use of the qualitative research method known as Autoethnography, which allowed me to explore my own personal narrative as a starting point which I had hoped would progress to analysing other rangatahi Māori and their own unique experiences with mental illness.
Figures 1, 2, 12 & 13 were removed for copyright reasons but may be accessed via the links provided.