Insects encase themselves for protection, to create a place where metamorphosis can occur. Utilizing their own secretions, they produce raw materials from which they build. For me, the insect is a metaphor for human behavior. Like insects we are defined by the physical inevitability of our cycles of growth and reproduction, as well as our social need for physical labor.
I have explored these parallels by constructing sculptural costumes that encase my body and resemble cocoons, and then further developed these structures through performance. Exploring the concepts of change and transformation I encase myself in a structure that provides both a covering for my body, as well as a site for an activity. My motion is restricted, and I engage in a repeated action that involves the movement of a material from one part of the structure to another. This process alludes to cannibalism, and also imparts ideas of self-sufficiency implicit in such a closed system.
In one work, entitled Loop, I crocheted a cocoon of tubes to envelop my body like a circulatory system. I sucked on one end of the continuous circuit, drawing fluid from the other end of the long tube, anchored in a pouch on my belly. In another, Seep, my dress extended from my body to become a landscape, its perimeter far beyond my reach. I dipped a 12-foot ladle into a trough of water to slowly dissolve the dress from the hem to the bodice.
In these and in all of my works, the elements are constructed through a laborious process of weaving, braiding, or sewing. They are then activated in performance through a similar process of methodical alteration. I share the space intimately with my audience and communicate not only through sight and movement, but also sound and touch. Utilizing temporal materials such as gelatins, fluids, or water-soluble plastics, I speak to the notion of time and change. These are repetitive actions that build and transform a work, like a spider, strand by strand, spinning a web, or a wasp, layer by layer, building a nest.