MAKING SPACE FOR CHANGE
(May 2017 to June 2018)
After nearly a year hand sewing thousands of discarded Cricula Trifenestrata moth cocoons (see "Reaching For The Moon"), my vision narrowed to the point of a needle. Day after day, in one hole and out another, then repeat. Where did all the holes come from? Moths wrap themselves in a dense, protein-rich fabric during their four larval stages. But once the silk is reeled off, the insect's initial lacey container is exposed. The holes fragment and distort light the same way tree leaves create dappled patterns from sunshine. The golden material, tough and delicate, gives off an ethereal glow. Time and again I held the cocoons up to my face. This, I imagined, was the view a gestating larvae had as it went through one of the most complete metamorphoses of any living creature. In other words, this was what profound transformation looked like from the inside out. Could I recreate this effect on a larger scale? What would be the point?
Our world is changing so fast that the culture threatens to leave a huge percentage of the population behind, mired in old ways of thinking and behaving. As an artist, I'm acutely aware that change and innovation are critical drivers of growth at all levels and I wanted to help people keep pace in their own lives. The best way to jumpstart that process, to my mind, is to provide people with the physical and psychic space that will allow them to envision themselves differently, to feel differently (if only for a few minutes), so they can begin to move toward a new way of seeing and operating in the world.
This suggested the creation of a human size cocoon. I began hand sewing the cocoon in May 2017, and finished in early June 2018. The completed piece ("The Seeds Were Laid Long Ago") measures roughly 60"h X 42"w, large enough to hold an average adult, who can slip in through an opening in the material. Study after study shows that even five minutes of quiet meditation in a secluded space relieves stress, anxiety and fear, the first important step toward enabling someone to alter their habitual thought patterns. And once we’re able to stop being mentally reactive, guess what? We can start being creative. We can start envisioning how we want our lives to be.
At some point, I'd love to make the cocoon available for folks to sit inside of. Even a few minutes will offer a taste of what transformation feels like.
Detail from inside of The Seeds Were Laid Long Ago, 2017-2018
The Seeds Were Laid Long Ago, 2017-2018; 60" x 42"; Cricula Trifenestrata moth cocoons, linen covered wire