Our socially engaged, interactive and immersive exhibition, Social Scaffolding, was part of the Emerge Showcase, 13 -23 Oct. 2022, as all of the members of the Social Scaffolding collective are also residents at Emerge. We were based in a decommissioned print room at Bath Spa University's Sion Hill campus in Bath. Again, we invited visitors to join us in a number of participatory experiences. Living sculptures was just one of the interactive activities on offer.
Expanding my research into clothing and identity, visitors were invited to try on a selection of hand knitted, wearable sculptures and to transform themselves into Living sculptures. It was absolutely fabulous to be able to work with the public again and to witness the delight with which all ages explored my sculptures in so many joyful ways. Passive viewers became active participants.
The footfall at the campus was very low compared to Taunton, so we invited several University and Secondary school groups to visit. This enabled us to trial ideas for group work which we will adapt as we tour.
This was the invitation to participate:
Become a living sculpture!
Try on one of the soft sculptures.
Look in the mirror.
Take a selfie or two.
Let someone take a photo
or video, if you like.
How does it make you feel?
What does it make you think?
Try on some more soft sculptures.
Write your thoughts on a label.
Tie the label to one of
the metal bodies.
Post photos on social media.
Thank you for being part of #LivingSculptures
As well as a series of brightly coloured, garment-like sculptures that I made expressly for participation in 2018, there were also five Body cocoons which I made as part of my MA research during the Covid 19 lockdowns. Four of them became Parts of me 2020 and were exhibited at my Interim MA Degree Show at Bath Spa University, draped over steel bodies with cast feet. I subsequently knitted a fifth, Body cocoon 5. My Body cocoons became props for a series of private performances of me wearing them in isolated settings as the lockdowns eased. For more details of these performances see:
I was delighted to finally be able to invite others to experience the freedom of wearing my Body cocoons, but I was also surprised that I felt rather protective of them at times. Body cocoon 1, especially had been knitted at the start of the pandemic, exclusively at home and had, at that time represented my Self as part of Self and Other. It holds within it the memories of very private and intense thoughts. I am planning to make a different series of wearable sculptures, made specifically to be worn by others, as we tour.