Icelandic artist and student Ýrúrarí has been knitting for most of her life and it is precisely what’s helping her to cope with the pandemic, too. During the outbreak of the coronavirus, Ýrúrarí created a series of mouth-themed face masks and it’s so playfully bizarre, it’s awesome.

Ýrúrarí said that everyone’s lives have changed dramatically at the same time, and — up to a point — we’re all going through similar experiences, so we can all relate to her project in some way.

The artist is “painfully aware” that many across the world are being affected by the virus way worse, but knitting is helping her to “keep sane” in these strange times while she continues pursuing her Master’s degree.

More info: yrurari.com | Instagram | Facebook

Image credits: yrurari

“All of a sudden, my Master’s classes became remote. It was hard to stay focused to begin with, and I also had been working on a show for Design March in Reykjavík but it got delayed,” Ýrúrarí told Bored Panda.

However, while searching for her zen, the artist watched more TV, trying new knitting projects. Thus, the decorative masks were born. “I guess this new wearable necessity inspired me. But now Iceland is recovering very well and it looks like everyday life might get a bit more normal in the summer, just without all the tourists, so all the Icelanders are stuck on the island together.”

Image credits: yrurari

Each mask takes Ýrúrarí hours of hard work, and even though the artist got some help from her knitting machine, she made most of the elements by hand. “There’s more sculpturing you can do with your hands.” It was also a way for her to transform her former sweater designs.

“I was definitely not expecting the masks to become such a hit or that I would connect so well with the facemask form,” Ýrúrarí said. “But it makes sense, I do work with knitting pieces that dismantle or change the body. I don’t know why I never thought of knitting something for the face before!”

Image credits: yrurari

Image credits: yrurari

A few internet commenters pointed out that these masks won’t protect anyone from COVID-19, however, that wasn’t the artist’s intention in the first place. Ýrúrarí said the masks are decorative rather than practical. She was simply trying to spread some joy while coping with the pandemic on a personal level.

Her work is meant to be humorous. The humble artist said she’s a bit too shy to be on stage so she tells jokes through her knitting, adding that she doesn’t think she could ever say anything “super wise”, but she might knit something that makes people smile.

Image credits: yrurari

Image credits: yrurari

And her unusual masks are already making a name for themselves. There’s a group of people in London who are trying to influence others to wear masks and they’ve been using images of Ýrúrarí’s work to get everyone’s attention. Also, several of her pieces have been showcased by Artists4Masks, a British initiative raising funds for personal protective equipment for medical staff and normalization of the use of face masks.

Image credits: yrurari

Image credits: yrurari

Image credits: yrurari

Image credits: yrurari

Image credits: yrurari

Image credits: yrurari

Ýrúrarí isn’t knitting just face masks, she’s creating everything from sweaters to abstract and complex mathematical textiles

Image credits: yrurari

Here’s what people said about her project