Carmen Cooley

Space to Breathe

Class of: 2027

Major: Design History and Practice BFA

Medium: Mixed Media

Faculty: Rachel Urkowitz

Prompt: The assignment that prompted this project was to work with a partner to understand their fears and then create a wearable piece that served to protect or help them overcome said fears. The first step in the creation of this piece was interviewing my partner, Julia. Within this interview, I came to understand Julia's struggle with social anxiety and the physical manifestations she felt from that like chest pressure.

The intent behind this project was to lift the feeling of physical pressure from social anxiety off of Julia’s chest and to do that I made a roughly lung-shaped wearable piece. The piece is made entirely out of toned tracing paper and wire. The paper was toned with gouache paint to draw back to colors from Julia’s early childhood. Other pieces of the project include wire rings piercing bits of paper, these are intended to resemble Julia’s jewelry as she finds fashion and style a way to help her connect to other people and move through her social anxiety. The paper components are folded in a style that is intended to let light and air flow through them giving them the effect of being visually and literally lightweight.