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Masters of Disguise masks: MLXL
MLXL made a mask from melted crayons

23 weird and wonderful masks feature in Masters of Disguise exhibition at Seeds

Martino Gamper, Bethan Laura Wood, Soft Baroque and Michael Marriott are among the designers that have created masks for an exhibition at London Design Festival.

London gallery Seeds presents Masters of Disguise, a show featuring 23 different masks, each designed to represent the character of its maker.

Other designers involved include Bertjan Pot, Sabine Marcelis, Jerszy Seymour and Nathalie Du Pasquier.

Masters of Disguise masks: Martino Gamper
Martino Gamper's "psychological, psychedelic" mask is made of plywood

The masks vary wildly in form, material, shape and size. While some are more traditional, made from textiles or wood, others are more experimental or abstract, created in materials like glass and resin.

"I think everyone can relate to the theme of the exhibition, its vibrant and playful sides, as well as an appreciation for the skills, materials and techniques used by the designers," said Seeds founder Nathalie Assi.

Masters of Disguise masks: Soft Baroque
Soft Baroque made a shimmering fabric cushion punctured by eyelets

Curated by Italian studio MLXL, the exhibition forms part of the Brompton Design District, which this year has the theme Nature/Nurture. So designers were asked to respond to "the human or inner nature". But otherwise the brief was completely open.

"It was important to allow each designer to create their mask without constraining their imagination," Assi told Dezeen.

Masters of Disguise masks: Rio Kobayashi
Rio Kobayashi used hardwood to create an animal-like face

Wood was a popular material choice.

Tiago Almeida and Rio Kobayashi used hardwoods to create animal-like faces, while Martino Gamper and Max Frommeld worked with plywood to create designs that are more alien in form.

Masters of Disguise masks: Bertjan Pot
Bertjan Pot created a clown face using rope and yarn

Bertjan Pot created a clown face using polypropelene rope and polyester yarn. A similarly bold colour palette features in the mask by Lorenzo Vitturi, which combines Peruvian textiles with small Murano glass details.

Other unusual uses of textile include a shimmering fabric cushion punctured by eyelets, designed by Soft Baroque, and a piece by Nathalie Du Pasquier featuring a black fabric face and bright red lips.

Masters of Disguise masks: Sabine Marcelis
Sabine Marcelis made a mask that shrinks your face

Sabine Marcelis has created a minimal but very clever mask.

It comprise a purple-hued block of resin with a lens at its centre, which shrinks the face of the wearer down to an abnormally small size.

Masters of Disguise masks: Jochen Holz
Jochen Holz used blown glass for his mask

Jochen Holz has created a very delicate mask from blown glass. There are also two masks that double as mirrors, both by Lucia Massari.

James Shaw also made two masks – one made from a plant-based bio composite he has just developed, while the other, which is referred to as the plastic dickhead, is made up of recycled polyethelene.

Masters of Disguise masks: James Shaw
James Shaw made two masks, including one he calls the plastic dickhead

Some of the other more unusual designs include a piece made out of melted crayons by MLXL and a series of wax-coated sticks by Jerszy Seymour.

There's also one that Fredrik Paulsen made by cutting up a crepe pan, which he later used as a mould for glassware.

Masters of Disguise masks: Bethan Laura Wood
Bethan Laura Wood's mask features her blue hair and coloured makeup

Bethan Laura Wood made an obvious self-portrait, giving her mask the same colourful makeup and blue hair she sports herself.

Meanwhile Michael Marriot turned himself into a red-faced demon, by making a mask out of a cut-up bottle.

Masters of Disguise masks: Michael Marriott
Michael Marriot made a mask out of a cut-up bottle

Iain Howlett and Marina Dragomirova of Studio Furthermore each made their own masks, one in foam and the other in crochet.

The collection is completed by a sieve-like design by Attua Aparacio and a brass wire outline by Kim Thomé.

Masters of Disguise masks: Tiago Almeida
Tiago Almeida imagined his mask as a storage box

None of the masks are labelled in the exhibition, visitors have to refer to the guide to find out whose is whose.

"Quite a few people were able to guess without looking," said Assi. "It adds a playful dimension to the experience of the exhibition."

Masters of Disguise masks: Lorenzo Vitturi
Lorenzo Vitturi combined Peruvian textiles with Murano glass

Masters of Disguise is on show at Seeds gallery, 35-36 Thurloe Place, until 22 September as part of London Design Festival 2019. After that, it will be open by appointment until 15 October.

The exhibition also features a range of other objects created by the designers featured, from furniture to tableware, so that the space can be used to host performative dinners.

More images

Masters of Disguise masks: Nathalie Du Pasquier
Nathalie Du Pasquier
Masters of Disguise masks: Lucia Massari
Masters of Disguise masks: James Shaw
James Shaw
Masters of Disguise masks: Max Frommeld
Max Frommeld
Masters of Disguise masks: Kim Thome
Kim Thome
Masters of Disguise masks: Studio Furthermore
Iain Howlett of Studio Furthermore
Masters of Disguise masks: Studio Furthermore
Marina Dragomirova of Studio Furthermore
Masters of Disguise masks: Attua Aparicio
Attua Aparicio
Masters of Disguise masks: Jerszy Seymour
Jerszy Seymour
Masters of Disguise masks: Fredrik Paulsen
Fredrik Paulsen
Masters of Disguise masks: Fredrik Paulsen