Tessa Carlin

The Balancing Act

Class of: 2024

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Soft Sculpture

Faculty: Carol Peligian

Prompt: Do you hold your body or parts of your body sacred? We refer to the body as a temple. Using linear, planar, and/or haptic materials, create a sacred body piece. May be any size. It may be a singular material or a combination of materials

The Balancing Act is a soft sculpture based on the workings of the inner ear, particularly the part of our inner ear that tells us where we are in space and keeps us balanced. It is made from felted wool roving and has an interior structure made from 18 gauge wire and metal springs. I chose to use wool as my material because its softness is reminiscent of the fleshy inner ear, and it invites touch and play.

This project’s prompt was to make a sculpture that reflected what I held to be sacred about my body. I choose my ear initially because sound, particularly music, can profoundly affect how I view the world. But through the research process, I shifted my focus to the ear as the site of our physical balance. This appealed to me because, as a freshman, this semester has been about finding balance in school and my personal life and learning how to thrive in these strange times and situations.