Cocoon IV(2012) Latex, rubber and sand

My original intention when creating a latex cocoon was to have a piece which contrasted the delicacy and fragility of the paper cocoons. I was considering using something like sandpaper so it would be rigid and have a rough texture but still hold similar qualities to the silk paper pieces. When it came to finding a large sheet of sandpaper though I ran into some difficulty. As I’d worked with latex before, I knew that I could create a rubbery, flexible cocoon which would contrast the silk paper forms in many ways, none more so than the fact that the paper cocoons are meant to be very natural whereas the rubber, although it has a skin like aesthetic, is artificial. I decided to incorporate the sand into the latex to add to the texture of the piece and to add another dimension.

The black rubber clinging to the inside of the cocoons, although initially accidental, reflects some of the theory I have been looking at in terms of human failure in both the natural world and artistically. Again it contrasts the organic look of the rest of my work, echoing scenes of spilt oil and thick black tar.

Cocoon III  (2012) Silk paper

I’ve finally completed the two silk paper sculptures. I took them into the photography studio to try figure out how I would like them displaying in the degree show. I decided on putting both sculptures together to form one piece. The paper structures are the most organic forms I will be having in the exhibition but show the least amount of human manipulation or destruction. However, I still wanted them ripped apart as opposed to one whole perfect cocoon form.

Following on from the completion of the physical structures I am hoping to create a subtle sound piece that can be played in the background at the exhibition to compliment the context of the work.

A park in Bradford is taken over by Ermine Moth Larvae in May 2011. Wish I’d seen it!

I’ve made a frame for the middle section of the cocoon which I can then coat with the silk paper. I should be able to remove the paper from the frame once dry and then attach it to the two spherical forms.

The paper mache semi-spheres (is that a word?!) have come out really well and will hopefully form the top and bottom of my large cocoon. Now I’m on to figuring ot the best way to build the central cylindrical piece to join the two together.

I’ve been thinking recently about possible pieces for the degree show in June. Alongside my now completed hexagon cocoon structure I would like a much larger scale, yet more delicate piece that I could bring aspects of light and shadow into once displayed. Keeping along the lines of paper art and studying the silk cocoons that I acquired before Christmas, I have decided on creating a human cocoon made of silk paper.

I’ve been testing out the shape on a much smaller scale ready to enlarge once I have found something big enough to use as a frame for the paper until it dries. I’m thinking of creating the top and bottom of the cocoon shape around something spherical and the middle around something cylindrical, then attaching the three sections together to create a stretched sphere form.

I’ve finally completed my cocoon sculpture!

I decided to try keep both sides symmetrical and particularly like the form that has emerged. It speaks both of protective cocoons and of the previous layered wasp nest structures I was studying.

I think I’d like to see the sculpture in a larger scale but again using natural materials. Something much more ‘human’ sized so the viewer can get more of a sense of security and hibernation.

Elsa Mora

Elsa Mora is a multimedia artists but I am mostly interested in her paper works. The piece above is a small bee paper scultpure and she uses other mostly winged insects throughout her work. Her papercuts have started me thinking about where I could go in terms of paper work after my interim show project.

I’ve finally managed to get an actual wasps nest to study…or at least part of one. I think this might be just the outer envelope but as you can see from the photos it really illustrates the layers that I want to echo in my work.

You can also see the colour variations which indicate each layer a different wasp has built. I want to try vary the colour in my work but in a much more subtle way.

Mat Collishaw Insecticide

Above is an example of Mat Collishaw’s insect work in which he took crushed bugs between clear slides as well as scanned images of them and made them into large prints.

Although at a glance the forms resemble insects on closer inspection you start to doubt what you are seeing due to their deformity. I think this series of work somewhat reflects what I am trying to do with Billy and my other wasps however where Collishaw was happy to kill the insects and then use them as art material, the more time I spend working with the wasps the more fascinating they become and the less inclined I am to kill them. In fact the ones I have used so far have been dead before I found them.