Dumont Motherline Mask

Motherline Mask by Marion Dumont

Copper, bone, rose petals, papier-mâché, poppy, silk, felt, pen, ceramic beads 13.5”x 42.4” n.d.


I am a woman, mother and grandmother. I am a writer, artist and nurse. I am a wanderer and lover of the natural world. As a writer, artist and practitioner of the healing arts my work emerges out of my experience and understanding of the interconnectedness of nature, art, and spirituality. I was born in France and have lived most of my life in the Pacific Northwest. My ancestral heritage is French, Irish, Scottish, English and African-American.




Artistic expression plays an important role in helping to navigate the different developmental phases and events in our lives. Experiences of crisis and mental anguish, as well as novel, joyful, and mystical encounters inspire our innate creativity. The creative process is a holistic practice that engages the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements. For me it is part of my spiritual practice and healing journey and nature is my muse. I believe that to engage in creativity and the arts nourishes the well-being of individuals and communities.

Creativity is not always chronological but emerges and evolves over time and space and sometimes reaches back on itself to reveal new meanings. The work of Marija Gimbutas and especially the images found in her texts have consciously and/or unconsciously contributed to several of my projects including this mask. It has been several years since I completed this mask and today, as I read various excerpts from her books, The Living Goddesses and The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe I’m amazed by the connections. Her texts validate my choice of materials as well as the form: the horns, the rosettes, the pelvis of a hind , all representative of the feminine, of birth, death and regeneration.

As a result of researching and writing about my motherline I came to understand my mother and her life from a new perspective. It enabled me to better understand the ways in which my own relationship to my mother has been shaped and influenced by the culture in which I live. Healing came from honoring my motherline. Emptynest/emptiness was my inspiration for the making of this mask. In 2016, when my youngest daughter and granddaughter left home, the earth shifted beneath me. Grief rose like walls of water in a tsunami. Creativity anchored me. The creative process grounds and reorients; it is the alchemist. Creating this art piece was part of the process of moving through the letting go of the intimate presence of my women in my life. Through honoring our motherline we can learn to re-embrace the values and traditions that support and honor ourselves, our maternal ancestors and all of the women who came before us. Today, mothering is one of the least valued roles in western culture and in most countries worldwide. The labor -intensive role of mothering is not valued in a capitalist, patriarchal society. It is vitally important that we honor our motherline.

This mask is in honor of my maternal ancestry.

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