Walker Mahany

Cocoon Light Fixture

Class of: 2024

Major: Product Design BFA

Medium: Bed sheets and Aluminum wire

Faculty: Andrea Katz

Prompt: Examine how the concept of home has changed due to the covid pandemic and construct an installation based on your experience.

This project draws from the overwhelming feelings of monotony and suffocation I felt during quarantine. In a constant state of daze, each day a repetition of the one before, my bed felt like a void. It felt as if the day was lost by the time I woke up and finally untangled myself from the luring grip of my sheets. I wanted to illustrate the suffocating pressure of the outside world as well and the overwhelming nature of loneliness and boredom. This was a moment of my life that was supposed to feel invigorating and exciting but felt uninspiring and stale. These feelings inspired me to construct a cocoon structure. A cocoon is constructed to provide safety while a moth is going through the process of metamorphosis, but at a certain point the moth must break out of the cocoon or it will die.

I first worked to create an interior structure of the cocoon, weaving wires in a crisscrossed pattern. By bending and securing the wires I was able to create a hollow balloon-like structure, which I manipulated to achieve a shape more resembling the elongated appearance of a cocoon. Next, I cut strips out of a bedsheet. The strips were folded along the sides in order to create clean edges. They were then wrapped around the metal base, partly overlapping to build interesting form and texture. More and more strips were added in different sizes until the structure was complete.

As I began to photograph the structure I realized how interesting the pattern of light was when a light source was placed inside or directly under the piece. This realization pushed me to change what was originally supposed to be a hanging sculpture into a light fixture.