Mixed Media Installation & Performance (Rite of Passage) – Earth, Henna, Hair (Locs from “Grounding Ceremony”), Roots, Fibers, Oil Paint, Acrylic Paint
Approx. 7ft X 3ft X 5ft
June 2006 – June 2016
Unfold documents a metamorphic transition. I worked on Unfold, for a 10 year period.
Unfold began as a cast of my upper body, which I then made into a pregnant form. From there, over the years, the piece would evolve based on life experiences, new understandings and revelations in dreams. During an emotionally tumultuous time in my life, I had a dream that I cut my chest open and took my heart out. From there I seached everywhere for someone who could fix it and put my heart safely back into my chest, but eventually found no one. Upon waking from this dream, I channeled that intensity into this piece, which was still a cast at the time. I mounted the cast to a large wooden panel and cut the chest open.
Over the years the piece evolved. I impregnated the cast with written intentions and words that I painted onto fabric. I painted the cast and attached roots and bark. A few months after “Grounding Ceremony” I began to sew the pregnant torso up with my newly cut locs. As a few more years passed, I opened the body cast again, revisiting and revising those intentions painted on fabric to create more positive and life affirming ones. Then I sewed the torso back up using my locs.
It’s final stages of development came as I built a life-sized cocoon/womb attached to a sculptural cast of my pregnant torso, sewn together by my hair. During a performance I entered the cocoon/womb, where I spent time in deep stillness. While in the cocoon/womb I wrote words along the inside of its walls with india ink; the drips and painted strokes visibly appearing on the outside surface of this translucent cocoon. After five hours of being inside of this piece, I (publicly) birthed myself from the cocoon/womb I had created; hand dyed fabric trailing behind me like an umbilical cord.
Not long after birthing myself from the cocoon, I decided to bury the placenta in my yard. The piece is still outside, as the weather & shifting seasons change it daily. Eventually it will fully return to the Earth.
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“The butterfly can help you see that exiting the cocoon suddenly opens a new door; that there is power in trust and vulnerability. No more than you, does a butterfly know whether it can fly; but it opens its wings in perfect confidence. It discovers that its delicacy allows its graceful flight; its dance in the air. The power of the butterfly lies in transformation and trust. Caterpillars must trust instinctual inclinations without doubt in order to reach the metamorphic stage. The caterpillar is almost completely dissolved by enzyme compounds within the chrysalis, before it can reform into an adult butterfly. Their whole body must be broken down to completely transform!” ~ “The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies”