Kinship Masks is a series of photographic and material-based artworks created by Dayna Danger. The series began in 2016 and consists of seven beaded fetish masks and eight large-scale photographs. Participants were photographed wearing leather-beaded fetish masks in a deliberate and political rejection of the voyeuristic gaze. The series uses symbolic references to the kink community to critically question visibility and refusal.
Each mask is unique to the wearer, with patterns and designs inspired by their body art. The artist considers each mask as a personal belonging of the wearer. The belongings are covered in matte black beads, and the sides of the masks are adorned with black lustre-beaded emblems. It takes about 300 hours to craft each mask, and producing them involves a lot of collaborative work, from making the leather to designing the bare leather mask, creating the patterns, and doing the beadwork. They act as protective armour and interrupt the dominant gaze.
The photographs are intentionally large to take up space on the wall and reclaim power over marginalized bodies. The series showcases Indigenous bodies that are fat, disabled, racialized, non-binary, feminized and sexualized. Patriarchal systems often categorize these bodies based on stereotypes and preconceived notions. The series creates suspension of reality, exchanging complex dynamics of sexuality, gender, and power while enacting consent.