Having started to consider protection not as a physical element but more of a conceptual idea, i started to consider all of the ways we want to be protected and what from. Sadness and death came to mind because of my ongoing facination with both. I looked again at imagery of Charcot’s hysterical arch and also at images of shrouded bodies. I feel that both are inter-linked. Within depression we are drawn to hide away covering our bodies and depression can lead to death and suicide.
Because I was using beetles as my inspirtion for protection I stared to research their involvement with death. I learnt that some beetles are associated with the Advanced Decay Stage of decomposition. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensic_entomological_decomposition
I find this association really interesting. These beetles slowly over time remove almost all trace of the body, turning it into a memory. This could also be the memory of sadness when better.
With all these ideas in mind I wanted to use the imagery of hysteria as a starting point and created a saltdough model to use as a base for the fibreglass.
I stitched small sections of both types of fibreglass together using a couple of the sewing threads I had used within the samples. I used the model as a base for the stitching as I wanted to ensure that it would mold over the template easily.
I used two colours of resin over the fibreglass, a flesh colour as well as green as a reminder of the beautiful Tortoise Beetle I had found. I also added a small amount of gold leaf, which adds a preciousness to the finished piece. The whole fibreglass section was fixed onto some sheer white fabric. I wanted the shrouded element to come across and create a dream like element that the resin would flow into. Like the problem/depression/sadness subsiding or floating away.
I am really pleased with the outcome. It was incredibly difficult to not get resin onto the surrounding fabric and in hindsight I should have covered this whilst I worked. If I were to do something like this again I would absolutely do this next time. But I really like the textures from the fibreglass with the threads and the transparency. The silhouete of the body works well and gives the impression of a female form. This could work well much bigger perhaps even lifesize and created within a mold so that the exterior is smooth and not so textured. I had considered doing this but had liked the roughness but actually both the beetle and the female form are smooth so really I think that this would have been better. All things to consider next time though.