DX Arts Course Work, 2020

Although solitude and Isolation have very similar definitions they feel and look very different from each other. Isolation is harsh, dark - Isolation is quietly loud like a dripping faucet in an empty building. Isolation feels forced, not a choice. Isolation is alone. Solitude is whatever you make it to be. Solitude is beautiful, healing, light. Solitude feels peaceful and sounds like familiar voices or pasta water boiling. Solitude is something we chose for ourselves. Solitude is a place that we can enter and leave as we choose – it’s a protective barrier from a world that can feel harsh at times.

My project depicts solitude and the solace that can come with it. The shell structure represents the barrier and protection that solitude can provide, but the transparent fabric still allows light in and allows for communication between the person wearing the garment and the outside world. When the shell is given power it folds like an accordion and lays across the wearer’s body. This gesture represents the autonomy that exists within solitude.

The garment is constructed from sheer tulle and given structure with the use of spring steel wire which provides the structure with the necessary tension. I used felt to secure the shell structure to the shirt. The circuit was created on PCB that I connected to an Arduino and a stepper motor. I fastened a bobbin and embroidery floss to the stepper motor in order to pull the shell structure open.

Photography by Sedona Duggal