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With carnival just around the corner in many countries around the world, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to inspire you with Dutch-Indonesian felt artist Gladys Paulus's impressive animal masks.

Now based in the UK, she makes each mask in her Somerset studio, including the felting process with wools such as alpaca and merino, and strives to source as much material as possible locally.

Felting was love at first sight for Gladys, who originally trained as a painter, which might have led her to experiment with plant-based dyes, created from ingredients grown in her own garden.

The alchemy of the felting process, as she describes it herself, also represents the recurring theme in Gladys's work: transformation. In seems that in the same way wool takes on a different nature when it becomes felt, so have the human beings that now bear her striking animal heads.

See more of Gladys's sculptures on her website.

All photos by Bella West via gladyspaulus.co.uk

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