The desire for an armor was real. So I made one.
The physical manifestation of an inner desire, that I didn’t want to confront, forced me to confront it.
The need to make with my hands, at the times when I have felt most low, was real. This did not come from knowledge or an understanding of the therapeutic nature of art. It did not come from a belief that I was artistically talented. // I did it because it felt like the only thing I could do.
The materials, a roll of screen mesh and paper fasteners, were elevated from their everyday uses to a poetic expression. The transformation of materials from their intended use to something unexpected fills me with hope that events, emotions, and people can be so much more then what they are originally perceived as.
The desire for an armor is real. So I built one. Unlike the medieval armor that often comes to mind when an armor is mentioned, this armor is soft. It is not permanent or long lasting. Through physical motion it will fray and eventually unravel. If embraced or touched, it will crumple. I have hope that the desire for movement and human connection will outweigh the desire for the armor.
This project started as a found object project. I had been thinking about this material, used typically to protect your home, for a while and loved the texture and shadows it could create. I knew I wanted to make an object that gave a person protection and I wanted it to have an intimate relationship with whoever wore it. This guided my decision to make it into a piece that one could wear. Repeating modules were used to give some regularity to a very fragile material.
I have found that photography provided me with a degree of control on how to present the project while leaving enough room for me to discover or interpret new meaning from the photos. After experiencing the desire to withdraw from everyone and create a non-physical barrier between the outside and myself, in the same way that an armor creates a physical barrier between the outside and one who wears it, it was important to put myself out there in a vulnerable state through these photographs.
A lot of this insight has come after the project was completed, and after the photographs had been taken. I am continuing to explore the material, how it is perceived and how to incorporate other people’s stories into the project.