Gia Porco

The Padded Cell

Class of: 2025

Major: Product Design BFA

Medium: Sculpture

Faculty: John Jerard

Prompt: We were instructed to create a piece that surrounded the idea of the Covid-19 pandemic. This could be on a personal or national level. The project had to be completed from every elevation in order to create a completed art piece that could be viewed from all sides and look finished.

For my project, I took a more personal approach to the topic of Covid-19. I decided to make a marionette stage/set of my home bedroom that would describe my experience during the pandemic, especially, the original quarantine my junior year of high school. I was never the type to go out every night and party, however, having a huge forced contributor to staying home was really restricting. I was stuck in my room most of the time where the highlight of my week was going to the grocery store. I felt like I was in my own padded cell, hence the name of my project, The Padded Cell. I hid covid molecules throughout the entire piece to show how even though we were inside the pandemic was still surrounding us and becoming a huge part of my life. Even though covid was “outside” and I was not, covid still creeped its way into my everyday life, motivation, and self worth. The set is also equipped with two puppets. One being a representation of covid as a whole and the other is representing my anger and frustration during quarantine, a fox. The set pieces are made of wood, beads, polymer clay, paper, and fabric. All the glowing aspects were done with either glow in the dark polymer clay (hidden covid molecules) or glow in the dark glitter glue. The actual structure is made out of foam core. For this project, I wanted to make something that had a lot of working elements and something that represented me. I accomplished this with the multiple glowing aspects, as well as, the working shades, lamp, and puppets. I put elements of myself in every aspect for this piece and I encompassed my experience of my quarantine as a whole.