Object StatementDance mask, 'Beizam Shark Headdress with Bait Fish', plywood / wire / metal / shark's teeth / feathers / synthetic polymer paint, made by Ken Thaiday, Cairns, Australia, 1995
Physical DescriptionThe main body is an open helmet construction in black-painted plywood, with ribs from a central point on the crown, curved down and attached to shaped supports that sit on the shoulders. These supports have lateral fins. Where the ribs meet at the crown is a painted plastic garden hose fitting which supports a vertical flat shark-form in plywood, with dorsal and ventral fins, painted black above and white below. Both the dorsal and upper tail fins are notched. Through the red painted mouth is placed horizontally a rectangular piece of plywood similarly painted, and with an eye painted in blue on a plywood circle and inset into each end.
To the front of the open helmet and secured to the shoulder supports, are two flat plywood moveable jaws, painted black on the outside and dark red around the implanted shark's teeth. The upper jaw is fronted by an horizontal rectangular piece of plywood painted black on top and white underneath, with an eye painted in blue on a plywood circle which is inset into each end. Behind this rectangular plywood piece, on the upper jaw, is attached groups of fluffy white feathers (representing sea foam) and a single quill attached at the centre top, and the underside of the lower jaw has groups of fluffy blue feathers attached (representing water). Attached to either side of the main body are two groups of four wires and attached to these are small bait fish (8), painted yellow with black details. A number of pulleys, with white strings attached, enable various parts of the mask to move: the bait fish, the shark, the jaws. A string to activate the jaw and the bait fish has a black wooden toggle at its end and is located at the centre back of the open helmet. The two groups of bait fish can also be activated by strings to the rear left and right which have no toggle. The shark on the crown pivots from side to side by using a string to either the left or right side, each with a red wood toggle.
MarksManufacturing mark moulded into the garden hose fitting, 'AS'.