TRANSFORMATION VESSELS

November 2017

I have been involved in three accidents in the past three years: the first resulting in multiple bodily injuries and a hip surgery that left me with metal devices in my joint, and the others resulting in multiple herniated disks along my neck and spine. Through navigating life with chronic pain and learning alternate ways of carrying one’s body and building physical strength without strain, I have investigated support systems and their interaction with the body.

My intention is to create a healing space that alludes to the transformative cycle of life, death, and re-birth; a womb-like space with vessels which birth the enclosure. The structure and hardware parallels prosthetics that support bodies and resistance bands which build strength. This metaphysical healing space is intended to meditate on the transformative cycle of life and healing our bodies from trauma.

One component of the installation is porcelain vessels; they are hand-coiled, built from the bottom up, remaining porous throughout the form. I employed a drip texture on the surface to emulate sweating, breathing, living. The size is equivalent to a human torso. The vessels are a cylindrical form alluding to the cycle of life, death, and re-birth, referring to a circle as an infinite form.

Another component is raw silk, both a flat plain-weave (an alternating pattern between warp and weft), and a cylindrical knit (a series of interlocking loops from the same thread). Raw silk is made without killing the silk worm, the moth is allowed to hatch before the cocoon thread is harvested. The flat silk has a hide-like leather texture alluding to animal skin. The tube cocoon-like tube presents a space for metamorphosis.

Along with raw silk, each vessel contained a mixture of medicinal plants. The plants used have been known to heal the body and mind, to transform one’s body into something stronger. The vessels and silk were also given a daily beneficial bacteria bath, propagated with green tea, raw honey, symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast. Beneficial bacteria is linked to the gut and mind allowing for a transformation of both.

The shape of this installation invites the viewer to enter an enclosed room of fabric walls with scattered vessels throughout. The vessels signify birth, the fabric structure signifies the body (specifically hips, legs, and the womb), and the organic matter embedded in the silk and vessels signifies time and change.