Sunday, 2 December 2012


Commissioned piece.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sunday, 25 November 2012

VISION CHINA Issue 10/12 (Anniversary Issue)

Two Damselfrau pieces featured in Paulinas's story, Gold Under The Black Veil for VISION CHINA 10/12 Photographed by Paulina Otylie Surys. Styled by Nickque Patterson

Thursday, 22 November 2012


    Me and Moray, photographed by Sayaka Maruyama.  SOLD

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Monday, 29 October 2012

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The British Journal of Photography/Paulina Otylie Surys

My Saguaro featured in Paulina Otylie Surys story for September Issue of The British Journal of Photography. She only shoots analog in large format and hand tints them. Her craft is deep and uncompromising. I love her.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

'The Question' Sci-fi short film.

Damselfrau pieces in Danann Breathnach's Filmbase/RTE Short Film ‘The Question'. It just finished production and I am so exited to see a Damselfrau in the first screen shot. Loking forward to see the film!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Material from a 1950's hat, sequins and vintage Chezc ribbons.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Nordic Barista Cup - 2012.

Damselfrau infiltrates the coffee community! Nordic Barista Cup 2012 in Copenhagen organized a Masked Ball. David Latourel, the MC for the event, wore his custom made Sea Unicorn mask. Tim Wendelboe wore his old piece from 2007(When I made 3 masks, for Tim, me and Rob for a Last Tuesday Society NYE party. The birth of Damselfrau), and Tim Varney in his custom made clown piece, later dubbed 'Crack Fox'.

Frost - The Woods

Frost - The Woods from frostnorway on Vimeo.

Beautiful tune form Per and Aggie. And there is a Damselfrau mask lurking in the video as well!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Monday, 16 July 2012

Damselfrau / Oslo Nights.

- You can practically be naked, when you are so dressed up in the face. Magnhild Kennedy started out making masks as a hobby, but her hobby turned into something more when electro-duo Röyksopp took her masks on tour in 2009. This summer her work is seen on screen in the new Britain’s Next Top Model promo, and Kennedy is really starting to make a name for herself – the name Damselfrau. - I tend to play with words. The name first served as an online-avatar, for Skype and stuff like that. There’s just something about the aesthetics of this word that appeals to me, Kennedy says. Damselfrau means married to yourself. - It’s awkward and seems a bit uncomfortable with itself. A word that masks itself! That’s why it eventually became the name of the mask concept. The meaning of the name morphs as I use it and as time passes. It changes continuously and I am still not comfortable with it. We can just about stand each other, she smiles. Lifelong interest For years Magnhild was under the impression that the mask project appeared out of nowhere, but it has slowly occurred to her that she has always worked with masking, even as a little kid. - As a girl, one of my biggest hobbies was making paper dolls, and I’d layer and cover them up and make insane amounts of gear and clothing. Once when I was little, my mum gave me Erté’s ‘French Avant Garde fashion of the 1920’s’ paper dolls, and I am certain that these dolls are paramount to my understanding of aesthetics in my work today. The format of the mask is very satisfying. Why masks? - It’s the ultimate ornament! And you can practically be naked, when you are so dressed up in the face. I have a desperate, eminent need to communicate, and I struggle with the nip and tuck and control of this. That is probably one of the main reasons for the making of masks. The designer started making them as an accessory for masked balls and parties in London, but it quickly took a different, more artistic direction. Kennedy says that the making of one piece is a long process. - I enjoy the making of the piece itself, because it serves as a type of meditation. I plan nothing. I start with the material, and let whatever comes, come. Then I photograph it on myself. I’m no photographer, so what comes out is quite accidental. Then I do some post production, till I sit there with an object miles away from the initial little piece of fabric. I’ve made a space. The mask is a space. It is the final ‘space’ I am interested in. Maximalist Since the creative artist started this project she has worked only on textile. Mostly second hand, antique and used materials. She sources it in second hand and flea markets and on eBay, and look for materials when she travels. -I also pester my friends to give me things to work with. I’m a maximalist and pretty aggro at that. Barock and Art Noveau, Italian Glamour and Traditional Chinese Costume! I love old textiles because they come with unexpected distinctions and flaws. It’s bewitching when stuff happens in the piece that I cannot control. I embroider a lot, and I paint a little bit. I work a lot with beads and stuff that shines and sparkles. I’m looking for texture, palette and movement. The photography is beginning to play a bigger role. I need to get more into that. Inspirations Her inspirational process usually starts with the feel of the bit of textile or piece she has in front of her. However, she highlights that certain stuff gives her direct input such as films from Italian sluggers like Fellini and Passolini, Peter Greenaway, and Jacque Tati. - I am brought up with the severe ladies of Modigliani, which have taught me a great deal about gaze and space. Oskar Schlemmer of the Bauhaus School’s costumes. National costume from all over the world, particularly West Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. I also get very inspired from watching other peoples working methods, even if they work with things remote from mine. Living and working in London Kennedy is originally from Trondheim, but spent many years in Oslo, before she made the big move to London in 2007 to work and develop her art. - The great thing about London is the folks. Here you can meet anyone and everyone. I moved here to be close to British Museum and V&A. These places are out of this world! In London you meet artists and people who work with thing you didn’t even know it was possible to work with. What are the plans ahead? Are you currently working on any projects? I have some of my work hanging at l’Atelier, which is a beautiful shop in Dalston, East London. Britain’s Next Top Model has used my work in the promo for the next season, so it will be cool to see my work on TV. I have also met a Belgian filmmaker I am keen to work with, so I’ll be nosing into that medium and I am very excited about that. She doesn’t define her masks as fashion or art, and tries to avoid narrowing herself down to the one or the other. - I feel like it’s not up to me to decide really. My pieces range from dainty lace pieces to weird things you can’t even look through. They move all the time. I see no reason to limit the work to a certain direction. I’ll gladly go in all directions, she concludes. Words: Cecilie S.Olsen Photos: Magnhild Kennedy & Sayaka Maruyama

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Starched cotton, glass/wood/resin beads and sequins. Artificial hair, satin ribbon and acrylic net.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Damselfrau mask on Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model promo.

                               Damselfrau piece in the promo for BINTM Cycle 8. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Damselfrau at LoveArt. Cap d'Ail/Monaco

DAMSELFRAU will be at LoveArt at Hotel Normandy in Cap d'Ail/Monaco from the 13th to the 17th of June this summer! The Pictures will be hanging at Hotel Normandy out September. I am exhibiting photography along fellow Norwegians; Espen Eiborg, Stephanie Olympia Skabo, Marcel Leliënhof, Per Heimly, Camilla Prytz and Unni Askeland. It will be SUPER! I am very exited.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


                              Small piece in KUNST Magazine(N). Photo: Sayaka Maruyama

Friday, 6 April 2012

DAMSELFRAU / VoltCafe by Volt Magazine

Before meeting Magnhild Kennedy aka Damselfrau at her house I wondered what it would be like. Was she making masks because she likes hiding behind them herself? Researching her, words like ‘uncompromising’ kept popping up. And the Nordic background. Would we be in a minimalist hellhole, kraut rockers Einstürzende Neubauten blasting at full volume while she gave monosyllabic answers to my every question? Nightmare!

Of course this was not the case. Magnhild is a very social persona, loves communicating and gave both me and photographer Rebecca Hawkes free rein to ask any questions while we had a damn good nose through her stuff. Magnhild clearly has an eye for the unusual, the flat that she shares with her husband, Robert, and their tortoise shell cat, is full of her treasures from the flea markets and car boot sales that she truffles through to source materials for her pieces. Although she has always been making things the masks have evolved slowly. So far it’s been 5 years; initially it was just her making masks for herself and her husband, then for friends, as all of them went to Last Tuesday Society balls. She loved the dressing up and making the masks, found it very satisfying to be creative by using her hands and also the fact that they didn’t have to relate to the face. While she makes them she deliberately doesn’t think about them as masks and goes into a creative state where she’ll work for hours.

Volt Café: Damselfrau…such a curious name! Where did it come from?
Magnhild Kennedy: Well, it was my Skypename! It means married to yourself. It’s an awkward sound, which is important to the aesthetic. Those are not comfortable words.

VC: Is that why the pieces themselves have such curious names? Arakis… Lestida… Seiobo to name a few. How do you name them?
MK: I consider what it looks like first, and then I’ll chase a name down on google, literally following whatever path that opens up, maybe change a letter to ‘make strange the familiar’. It’s primarily about making nice sounds that looks like the piece but also has a reference – no matter how slight – to something real.

VC: And your inspiration for the pieces, how do you start?
MK: Always the material! Which NEVER comes from a textile shop! I find what I need on eBay, from car boot sales, flea markets and friends. The more ‘used’, the better, I like it to have a story, a patina. The provenance is what gets my mind working. Then I start sculpting it straight on a bust.

VC: I love the mixture of textures and materials; you are incredibly free with your imagination.
MK: I’ve started to embroider more. Embroidery is very satisfying because it takes the time it takes. I’m actually very obsessive despite being quite ADHD. Embroidery forces me not to flit from one thing to the next, I literally go into a trance-like state and then suddenly 7 hours have passed! I learned most of the techniques from watching Utah housewives teach embroidery on You tube. (nodding sagely) Ye-es, they’re quite a bunch of renegade housewives actually!

VC: Do you see your masks as fashion or art?
MK: I think they started out as fashion, a sort of ‘facial underwear’ which suited the environment at the Last Tuesday Society balls. It then evolved into art. A turning point was definitely when they were exhibited at Doors Showcase on Rivington Street. Anthony, who runs Doors Showcase, had seen them in the windows of Start. So that took them from ‘fashion props’ to art. I’m hard to categorize – don’t really fit into any box, don’t care either! I’m not too interested in correcting my direction.

VC: At Doors Showcase you displayed them in light boxes and as photographs. Why not in the expected way on busts or mannequins?
MK: Mainly because I’d like to disassociate them from ‘the body’. They are hard to shoot on models as I feel they [the models] don’t project enough darkness. I prefer the masks to be by themselves, tell their own stories. Some times I have to store a piece for a while, literally to let it mature into what it needs to be. I’m not responsible for the masks; they evolve off their own bat.

VC: Where do you se yourself as an artist in the future?
MK: I want to find more unusual materials and make films and books. I like to layer things and I want to work with film and photography.

Damselfrau is showing masks and photographs at Hotel Normandy in Monaco on the 12th – 16th June 2012 (the photographs will be on display till September 2012)

All photographs and layout by Rebecca Hawkes
Words by Anna Bang

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Seiobo & Stikker

Starched Cotton, various feathers, embroidery, cotton/silk/linnen tread, pom-pom.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Frost, live at Longyearbyen

Aggie wears her Damselfrau mask on stage at Svalbard.

photo by Ingvild Kolnes

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Vogue Italia+Paulina

Two black lacy numbers of mine in a shoot by Paulina Otylie Surys and high corsetress Sian Hoffman. Click title to go to Paulina's profile in Vogue.

Monday, 2 January 2012


Two portraits of yours truly taken by Lars Myhren Holand. One with vodka and Noosk. One in the garden of composer Michael Nyman, at his house in North London.

Dragonfly for Rebecca, spirit of 2011

I was given a hand me down this Christmas from Rebecca, through Graham. A beautiful Victorian bone silk bodice, full of beading and sequins for the purpose of mask making. It was falling apart, and Rebecca wanted it to have a second life. She gave me the whole thing for my work, and all she wanted back was a small piece, reformed into a token, amulet, something to wear, anything....In literal spirit of metamorphosis I made her a dragonfly brooch. Most of the material from pieces of the bodice,stuffed with cotton wool and glass beads for weight, some brass detailing I got from this wonderful little shop i Marais and some antique Czechoslovakian filigree buttons for eyes. It's sort of a Japanese fighter plane, merged with a stuffed animal. It is approx 14 cm long and 12 cm wing span. I gave it to her on the last day of 2011. She was happy.Graham was happy. What a good project to end the year with.I am happy.