Social Scaffolding, Create@#8, Shepton Mallet, 21 April - 6 May 2023
For the Living sculptures participatory part of Social Scaffolding in Shepton Mallet, I chose to just install my Parts of me 2020. This installation was part of my Interim MA Fine Art Degree Show in September 2020. At that point there were four knitted Body cocoon sculptures, draped over four steel bodies, each with a pair of plaster or Jesmonite feet, but now, for Social Scaffolding, there are 5, and some of the feet are concrete.
Vistors were invited to become Living sculptures by wearing one of my knitted Body cocoons. A mirror was provided for participants to see themselves. This invitation to participate was printed on the mirror:
'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
I always love seeing the way that people move differently when they wear my sculptures. And the laughter is infectious!
For more videos of fabulous Living sculptures see my YouTube account
Sadly, the 'video booth' app I had commissioned wasn't ready for Shepton, but adding the life-sized, portrait screens made the piece come alive! A reel of videos of visitors becoming Living sculptures from Social Scaffolding, Taunton and Social Scaffolding, Bath played on a loop, animating the space and setting up a curious connection between the new participant/performerss and the previous ones. It was fabulous, joyful and inspiring for our visitors.
Body cocoons, 2020-21, hand knitted, wearable sculptures
I started knitting Body cocoon 1 during the first Covid -19 lockdown in England, in March 2020. It grew in parallel with my socially engaged Wishing trees and it eventually became part of an unusual diptych for one of my MA modules in May 2020; I called it Self & Other.
Body cocoon 2, Body cocoon 3 & Body cocoon 4 were knitted over the following months of uncertainty. At that stage, I wasn't able to invite anyone else to wear these cocoon-like sculptures, so I made them for me. Normally, I knit anywhere and everywhere, but I knitted my Body cocoons almost exclusively at home, in my house and garden, because of the lockdown restictions, and I was the only person who had worn them before I installed them at Social Scaffolding, Taunton and then at Social Scaffolding, Bath.
As the lockdowns eased, I documented performances of me wearing the Body cocoons in a number of unexpected and remote places.
Body cocoon 5 was finished in January 2021.
Ongoing research and devlopment
Read more about the resarch and development of my Living sculptures project, which began in 2018.