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a black and white surrealist-style photograph of a woman wearing a mask and holding a face

Kaite O'Reilly's Peeling (2011) deliberately played with ideas surrounding how Deaf and hearing characters operated in the performance's scenario. Image courtesy: Kaite O'Reilly

The photograph is black and white. It is finished in an effect which suggests age and the style is reminiscent of the avant-garde or surrealist-style photographs of the mid-twentieth century. On the right of the image a woman is pictured in close up from just below the neck upwards. Her shoulders are bare aside from thin black straps, which suggests she is wearing a slight garment. She has straight dark hair which appears to be windswept and strands are blowing across her face. However, instead of a face, she has a white plain mask. She is directly facing the viewer. On the left lower part of the image her hand appears and she is gently holding a face in her fingers suggesting its lightness. It is turned slightly at an angle and is slightly lower than the woman's mask. The face appears to lack expression but the eyes which look out from the picture towards the viewer seem filled with sadness or melancholy or perhaps resignation. These expressive eyes contrast powerfully with the dark ovals of the woman's mask. The background of the image suggests bleak weather and a desolate landscape.