Class of: 2025
Major: Illustration BFA
Medium: Mixed Media: Wire, Safety Pins, Plastic Placemat
Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem
Prompt: This project investigates relationships between the inner world and the outer world. In our new daily reality, each of us experiences an inside and outside of spaces in entirely new ways. Physical spaces, we found a temporary home. In this project, students are tasked with developing a body part cover inspired by exoskeletons' anatomy, and it explores forms of protecting ourselves from their world. How is this shell a metaphor for our state of mind? Our emotions? Our physical being? Etc.
When considering the idea of protecting what’s on the inside from outside forces, one of the first things that came to mind was the war on reproductive rights for people with uteruses, specifically in the United States, as these laws impact myself as an American most directly. As a female- identifying person with a uterus, I am seeing my authority over my own body being slowly stripped away at the hands of male lawmakers; outsiders trying to control what is literally inside of my body. This issue is very close to my heart. for this reason, my exoskeleton is an armored corset of sorts, made to protect the uterus. The form is designed to mimic and compliment female anatomy, but is made of materials meant to protect its wearer against outside forces. In this way, I want to blend soft and traditionally “feminine” lines with sharp and protective elements. The project is put together using only mechanical connectors, with no glue or adhesive of any kind. I am drawing inspiration from the exoskeleton of a female praying mantis, which has six plates protecting the abdomen. Design elements are inspired by the couture collections Jean Paul Gaultier fall 2009, Christian Dior fall 2006, Versace fall 2012, and Zendaya’s iconic Met Gala look from 2018.