Beaded face mask commissioned by X University's Fashion Research Collection (FRC), 2021.
OBJECT: "Breathing Blueberries" mask by Justine Woods
Woods created this beaded mask, titled "Breathing Blueberries," during the pandemic. Earlier this year, she shared with the FRC the inspiration behind her piece, explaining: "With the pandemic now a year and a half into its course, I have recently been reflecting on how health and safety measures such as social distancing, lockdown and isolation have mobilized a need for dreaming up new possibilities for the ways we create and engage in spaces of care and joy within community. 'Breathing Blueberries' is inspired by childhood memories of spending time with the land and picking blueberries with my family. It was during these moments where my dad first shared with me knowledge on the growing qualities of blueberry bushes. Although blueberry bushes can self-pollinate, their fruit flourishes best when they cross-pollinate collectively with other bushes - their other blueberry kin. These childhood memories and blueberry teachings have resonated with me throughout the pandemic because of their emphasis on the importance of collective community care and fostering spaces where radical forms of kinship and love within community can flourish, especially during these unprecedented times."