Press Release

masks on the washing line

Artist fashions face masks

The Coronavirus crisis has seen creative businesses coming up fighting on many fronts and a small artist ’s gallery on the beach at Dungeness is no exception.

When the beach and the Dungeness Estate closed during Lockdown, artist Helen Gillilan ramped up the production of stylish vintage cotton face masks. The masks offer a flourish of cheerful colour and design for those who need to travel on public transport, go shopping and to ultimately follow the path back to work,

Life before the pandemic saw Helen painting in oils and mixed media in a studio at the rear of her charming pink fisherman’s cottage while exhibiting the work in her gallery.

In the face of the Covid 19 challenges she has turned to her lifelong collection of vintage textiles to satisfy demand for extraordinary face masks. She has also added an attractive and serviceable online shop for the masks to her existing studio/gallery website.

Helen Gillilan, Artist Maker at Ocean View Gallery Dungeness said: “It started with offering face masks to neighbours who liked the designs and that they are easily washable and reusable.  I realised that there’s a demand for good quality, well made and comfortable masks that make a statement about who you are.

“When you wear a mask it’s impossible to use facial expression as you would normally – even a smile can’t be seen by others. My masks are colourful and jolly – people have described them as ‘adorable’ – not a term of endearment usually seen in the same sentence as face mask!”

Helen continues to paint as well as creating her face masks.

For more details and to see the available collection of vintage cotton fabric face masks visit:


For more information contact Helen Gillilan – .

Telephone 01797 320 242


Cotton on! to these adorable artist made facemasks

Cotton On!


It started with providing face masks to friends on the beach and they have have proved to be so popular  that I decided to create some more using my stock of vintage cottons and coloured bindings.

The masks are triple layered with a densely woven satin or cotton layer in between the lining and the face fabric.

While the practicality of masks is being debated – there’s a school of thought that they are useful in these confusing times as long as you observe the usual social distancing advice. I wash all masks after making them and dry them on the stove – then I iron them while wearing clean gloves and pack them in cellophane- and an envelope. If you’re interested in buying a mask or masks I will be creating a menu and page on this website specifically for them – in the meantime please contact me and I can arrange a PayPal payment.

Available in Medium or Large sizes.

Masks are £12 each +UK post and packing