Christopher Moller Gallery

Mask IX, stainless steel, 13 x 18 x 20 cm | Andre Stead

Masquerade or the ‘masked parade’, as André Stead likes to call it, refers to the sudden mass adoption of personal protection equipment around the world due to Covid-19. As with anything with a global impact, the pandemic has become politicised, criticised, capitalised and marginalised beyond recognition. Most people either have a strong opinion or are still trying to figure out what just happened. The sudden disruption of travel and trade and the mass retrenchment of the workforce have left many in dire straits. Is it the end of the world as we know it, as the song says? Or do we get to go back to a world where you don’t need to fear that a random person may arm you to unknowingly kill your grandmother?

For now the normal is broken and, André wonders whether his granddaughters will ever know how open and free the world was when they came into it. Whether they will have to see how the world used to be in the movies, while shielded from strangers behind screens and masks out in the real world.

Mask IV, stainless steel, 14 x 21 x 33 cm | Andre Stead

The truth is, nobody really knows, experts are divided and, the usual answer is that there isn’t enough data to know what will happen for sure. “Things could get better or worse, in a medium to long term timeframe, or perhaps not.” That’s the official word on where we are regarding getting things back to normal.

This has left many people feeling down and, mental health is predicted to be a widespread problem directly resulting from Covid-19. What will happen to the fabric of society if millions upon millions of people suddenly become depressed? Nothing good, I would imagine, and that’s just one single example of the challenges that we may or may not be facing soon. The reality is that we are all going to have to work together to guide the world back to a place we can leave behind for our grandchildren. We are going to have to do that anyway, and perhaps this is our call to action.

Across the globe consortiums of medical professionals race to find viable treatments and vaccines while the public at large employ social distancing with restricted services in a vast attempt to control the situation. The actions of every man, woman and child will dictate the collective outcome on a global scale. Everyone has a role to play, no matter how big or small, your opinion alone could be the thing that turns the tide this way or that.

What you do and what you think matters, it matters more than ever. Working together is the only way human society will survive in a closed ecosystem, and it is up to all of us to make sure the future is better. So don’t be afraid to have an opinion, but think about it a little and make sure it’s a good one, and remember to be kind to your neighbours and strangers, they may not have been as fortunate as you. They may even be blue.

Mask II, stainless steel, 13 x 15 x 16 cm | Andre Stead


Mask III, stainless steel, 13 x 15 x 16 cm | Andre Stead