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Self-Portrait Masks made by Miya Turnbull

Miya (pronounced Mee-yah) Turnbull is an artist based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).

I work in many mediums including mask-making, photography, animation, video, performance, painting and textiles. This website will focus in on my current body of work with Self-Portrait Masks, Photography, Performance and Video. My textile website is closed until further notice so I can focus on mask making.

About my masks: 

"My masks are three-dimensional self-portraits- a combination of photography, sculpture and collage. They are photo-realistic but often altered- for example, I might change the placement or even erase select facial features, or cut up and re-attach masks together in unusual combinations. I use photo elements within my work to create an uncanny resemblance within my masks, in addition to capturing images of myself wearing these facades.


I am drawing from the traditional uses of masks worn for disguise, transformation and protection, and as symbols for persona, self-image and identity. Ironically, I am placing my face on the front of the mask at the same time concealing my 'self' behind it. I can then manipulate how you see me. By keeping my image a constant, I am able to experiment with multiple iterations and further explore my heritage, experiences, perceptions and inner world, making these visible, tangible and wearable."

Behind the Mask: Miya Turnbull

Mini-doc showcasing my artwork, 3 min 37 sec.
Presented by Instagram's 
Fashion For Bank Robbers, January 2021.

The first of a series of videos about mask-makers from around the world, entitled:
Behind the Mask, launched on their new YouTube Channel.


Photography (above) by Nanne Springer, 2023

"Omote (面)" is a collaboration between mask maker Miya Turnbull (Halifax, NS) and dance artist Shion Skye Carter (Vancouver, BC). We were brought together by Yume. Digital Dreams collaboration project presented by Tashme Productions in 2022, which united 14 Japanese Canadian artists together. Custom music made by Stefan Nazarevich (Vancouver, B.C.)

Article about our collaboration in The Nikkei Voice "Revealing Layers Within", May 2023

This project exists in several forms: 

Short Film: 

The film version (can be viewed here on YouTube) has screened at several film festivals including FIN (Atlantic International Film Festival, 2022), International Portrait Film Festival in Bulgaria (2022), Asian Arts: Environments of Resilience and Sustainability, Media Arts Exhibition (Korean Film Festival Canada/ Arts East-West) Dazibao Gallery in Montréal (2023) and Shifting Tides (Dance Films from Atlantic Canada, as part of IMPACTfest 2023) among other showings in galleries and venues in Canada and in Germany.

Live Performance: 

We also developed Omote (面) into a live performance, Spring 2023, commissioned by CanAsian Dance Kickstart Program and co-presented by Tangente and Festival Accès Asie. This 20 min performance was supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Kinetic Studio in Halifax. We performed in Montreal May 6-9th, 2023 and Toronto May 12-14th, 2023. Dramaturgy provided by Julie Tamiko Manning. We also have plans to develop this into a full length piece. 

Art/Photo Book:

We had a photo session with Nanne Springer before the premiere of Omote (面) in Montréal and the results from that photoshoot, I made into a photo book, thanks to the 2023 Art & Photo Book Award by Boooooom.


Official launch coming soon! You can order a copy here . Retail price is $30 USD (approx $40 CAD) plus shipping. 

Omote Book.jpg
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Visual Arts News, Volume 44, Number 2, Fall 2022

So honoured to have my artwork on the cover of the latest issue of Visual Arts News, a magazine that explores contemporary art practices in Atlantic Canada, on the unceded and unsurrendered lands of the Beothuk, Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Inuit, Innu, and the Southern Inuit of NunatuKavut.

A beautiful article written by Clare Goulet, a local writer, poet and educator, is published on pages 21-25. You can read the article here and the magazine is available for purchase (back issue Fall 2022)

Custom Masks made for Allie X for upcoming album.
"Black Eye" music video premiered Oct 31st, 2023
Album cover and album art announced Nov 16th, 2023
GIRL WITH NO FACE: release date: Feb 23rd, 2024
Read Rolling Stone article here

Miya Turnbull: Inward, Outwards
Solo Exhibition

Acadia University Art Gallery
Wolfville, NS

Nov 12th, 2022 - Feb 7th, 2023

Curated by Dr. Laurie Dalton

Read Exhibit Highlights Here

Halifax Photoshoot: Self-Portrait Masks