You can't beat the feeling of searching for ritually used tribal masks in Africa and on the way feeling the heat of the Kalahari or the snows of Kilimanjaro through your boots, the smell of mud huts and wood smoke or the taste of dust and grit blowing off the Sahara.

I have sourced half this collection from Africa (trips to Angola, Mali, Cameroon, Zambia and Namibia) and the other half is from galleries in Europe, North America and Australia. It is held in Sydney Australia.

Andrew in Kinaxixé, Luanda, Angola, 2010

Living so far from the African continent - and so close to the tribal art of New Guinea, South East Asia and Polynesia - shared information and experience is hard to come by. It is why I am always interested in other peoples opinions (although it does not mean I automatically take those opinions as 'gospel'). Whether the information is right or wrong it indirectly helps to enlarge, deepen or enrich my response to ritual masks. And may assist in discovering something that otherwise may have escaped my attention.

This collection is not intended to represent or impose any kind of collecting point of view. I have simply taken an intuitive approach to objects, referencing the mask by my own emotional reaction, not just driven by the aesthetic but also by the function, the meaning and the adventure it represented.

Removed from their Africa, these masks are fragments both literally and metaphorically. They were once given the power to cure, curse, instruct, judge or protect both individuals and whole communities. I hope the photographs and the words capture this spirit.

Some galleries that pieces in this collection have come from are:

Marc Assayeg and Tookalook Native Arts at
Candice Ranelli and Ralph Proctor Gallery at
Ann Porteus and the Sidewalk Tribal Gallery at
Fernandez Leventhal Gallery at

Two collections that I have found valuable as visual references are:

This collection has not been placed on the web because I think it is 'important', nor is it for sale. It is on the web to assist others with visual and textual references to masks. I hope you enjoy it.

Regards Andrew Turley