Jerron is a young, multitalented artist. He proved his worth when he began dancing at age 20 despite the cerebral palsy that affects his left side. When speaking to Jerron, my group and I picked up on a phrase he used repeatably. The idea of "taking up space" is something he has constantly found appealing throughout his life. With his disability, he found himself having to make the space he deserved because no one would do it for him.
My group and I took this idea and dug deeper. We looked at the idea of expansion. We used origami and different paper pop-outs in order to give Jerron the chance to "take up" more space in a wearable form. We played around for weeks trying to get a design that we felt truly represented Jerron. Eventually, we decided on a simple design that he seemed fond of. This design has petal-like objects coming off his shoulder, reaching down his back. These petals lay flat until Jerron pulls a string which causes the petals to stand up, expanding. These petals are made of thin rolux which is a strong plastic material that looks 3D even though it is only 2D. These pieces are attached to a 3D printed piece that allows the petals to rotate 180 degrees. This piece connects the petals to a harness while allowing them to move freely when prompted to do so.
I tend to take things for granted. I complain about being "starving " when I haven't eaten in three hours; and I complain about being tired when I haven't slept in to 11. I complain that my body hurts after being able to play for a full lacrosse game. Juxtapose studio has exposed me to people and issues that I simply could not relate with. I still don't have cerebral palsy, and I still don't have to endure the pain of people staring at me all the time, but this project gave me a window into what disabled people go through. I am grateful for this opportunity to help me continue to grow as a person as I am learning about the lifestyles of others, specifically different than my own.
In the studio we made a chest piece wearable designed for Michelle. Cerebral palsy is a disorder that relates to movement, muscle tone, and posture. It affects the muscle coordination within a body. Michele expressed that she never felt welcomed and that she didn't have a "seat at the table". Additionally, Michelle expressed her love for sea life. We tried to relate these two ideas and came up with the idea of making a wearable representative of the coral reef. The coral reef representing community as well as expressing beauty and uniqueness; there are no two pieces that are the same. In this way we tried to build a supportive community for Michelle through the wearable.
The wearable is a felt chest pieces fitted with many wooden input slots which are compatible with the two types of appendages we created. The seaweed appendage laser cut felt with a wire sewn in through the middle so it can be easily warped around Michelle or her mobility devices to represent support and comfort. The other type of appendage, inspired by turtle shell, is a three dimensional, jointed, wood appendage. These appendages both project into the space around Michelle and hug her body illustrating the external relationships community can grant her, as well as the supportive and protective qualities of a open and accepting community.
Our studio is a workshop in which we construct wearables for dancers in the exhibit, On Display. On Display is trying to change people's ideas of beauty, by using dancers with disabilities. It gives the audience a chance to disregard society's obsession with body image. My group is creating a wearable for Heidi Latsky, the head of On Display. Heidi does not have disability, however she feels very vulnerable about her image, and age. We decided that this feeling of vulnerability is something we could represent in a wearable very well.
Our project is a necklace, with many detachable pieces of armor connected to it. Throughout the show, Heidi will slowly take off the pieces of armor until only the necklace is left. This is meant to represent her getting over her vulnerability. Heidi performs a very serious and physical dance nearing the end of the show, and doing it with the armor attached would be very restrictive. This is another reason for why we decided it would be important for her armor to be stripped fully off at some point. Heidi wants everything to be white during her shows. This became an obstacle we had to overcome because it limited us to a very minimal amount of materials, however we were very lucky because Acrylic, the material we knew we wanted to use, came in white. Most of our project is created out of this white acrylic. The triangle pieces that the necklace is primarily made out of is white acrylic, as well as the plates of armor. Our wearable is a very meaningful piece of art. We hope this project can encourage people watching to let themselves show their true form, and not let themselves feel self conscious about who they are.