The Curious and Ancient Art of the Death Mask with Nick Reynolds
Thursday 25th October 2018 from 7:00 pm

Death masks date back to Egyptian times when a mask would be placed on the face of a mummy as part of the funeral rites. This was believed to protect the soul of the deceased from evil spirits on its journey to the afterworld. The Romans made wax masks of dead family members for the purposes of later creating statues and busts of the person.

This tradition continued into the Middle Ages where masks made of wax or plaster were used in funeral ceremonies and were later kept in libraries, museums, and universities. Before the widespread availability of photography, the facial features of unidentified bodies were sometimes preserved by creating death masks to help in retrospective identification.

Nick Reynolds is one of the few people still practising this ancient art today. Two of his iconic masks are in Highgate Cemetery East (his father, Great Train Robbery mastermind Bruce Reynolds, and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren). Nick will also uncover his extraordinary story behind making the death mask of John Joe ‘Ash’ Amador, the 402nd person to be executed in Texas since the reintroduction of the death penalty in 1982, this tale is worthy of an evening in itself.

This talk gives a rare opportunity to learn about this fascinating subject. The whole process will be described in detail and lavishly illustrated with videos and Nick’s hugely entertaining anecdotes.

Tickets £12 including a Hendrick's Gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.

Nick Reynolds
Nick Reynolds was educated in Mexico when his father was on the run from the police. He served in the Falklands War. His first experience of dead bodies came as a Royal Navy diver fishing "grotesques" out of the River Thames; an experience which helped inspire him to set up his unique company Memorial Casts. He has created Death Masks for many public figures, including director Ken Russell, Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and actor Peter O’Toole. Nick is also the harmonica player in Alabama 3, who wrote Woke Up This Morning, the theme to The Sopranos.

The Venue - Bromptoon Cemetery