totem

They are an extension of ourselves that we give our love to. They are our friends, our children; their companionship provides us with a greater sense of vitality and represents our character. We adopt them because they need our care, and because we recognize their good intentions.
The anthropologist Rapport, who wrote extensively on ritual, noted that masks do not always disguise, they often transform and actually display identity. They "coordinate the iconicity, the signs of identity in any particular cultural context." Rather than conceal, they become an agent of revelation.
It is a very personal journey to make your own mask and I have seen a pattern emerge over the years of observing people make their totem piece - the mask takes form and then the maker cannot help but reveal a part of themselves through the design, build and decoration.
UPDATED - 20/11/12 It was the simple tree trunk that helped inspire one of Britain's biggest art shows, but now David Hockney's