In designing the wearable cardboard piece, I wanted to create something that could be very flexible and open ended in terms of its concept. My inspiration was drawn from creatures like a jellyfish and plants like vines, leaves, etc. Originally I intended to extend the general design of the headpiece to the left arm and right leg, but once I started working on the headpiece, I knew I wanted to put all my efforts into making that portion the way I wanted it. If I had included the other pieces, it may have become to heavy and imbalanced. The basic idea was to use the corrugation of cardboard to my advantage as a form of texture and detail. My deconstruction of the material in the previous assignment showed me many different ways it could be used to create movement and direction in a piece, and that was precisely what I wanted to accomplish. While the piece would implement the use of sharp angles, I wanted to counteract that aspect with details like the smooth wave of the corrugation, and the most painstaking and time consuming part of this project: The Fringe.
I used triangles to give the falling vines dimension, to push them past a direct representation, and to start moving into an abstract life-form appearance. What I didn’t want was for these triangles to all be very sharp, to have a definite edge and point that gives a harsh and aggressive look. My solution to this was to create a fringe using strips of the outer layers of cardboard. This required a great deal of teeny tiny snips from a pair of scissors that left indents on my hand for hours after the project had been completed. I would also like to take a minute to thank my wonderful friends, who stayed up with me until 5:00 am cutting up all the strips of paper. Without them, I may have withered away entirely. The fringe was then glued down to the triangles face and edge in rows until it was covered. Once it was frayed and ruffled, the fringe softened to texture of the triangles and gave it a new visual detail that formed this image of a type of camouflage. Maybe the fringe is a type of fur or fuzz? Maybe the triangles are leaves, maybe the spikes of a creature defending its host. However, as every piece dangled around my head, after adding strip after strip of triangular arms, wearing the piece and looking at the world from behind that screen gave me a strange feeling that the purpose of this creature, whatever it may be, was to bring me shame. Not only was it hiding my face and obscuring my vision, but it received very strange and confused glances. I can only imagine the inner dialogue, “what on Earth is that thing?” What is that thing, indeed.
When I stood up in front of the class wearing my wig of shame, I was honestly not expecting to get the critique I did. I was wearing a big jumbled mess on top of my head, and I was embarrassed. Take note that I smile and laugh when I’m uncomfortable in front of a crowd. The reaction was surprisingly positive, in my perception of it. Everyone seemed to grasp the idea that it was meant to hide me for some reason, that there was a protective element working against and aggressive one, and they picked up on the textures as well and how that was able to soften certain edges. When I told them the title, everything seemed to click into place. If I had extended it to my arm and leg, it may have made more sense as battle gear or strictly as camouflage. But when it is restricted to my head, it feels overwhelmingly more emotion based.
So there it is, the evolution of a strange and contradictory wig of shame. The product of a late night and a lot of coffee the next morning.