By Maya Paul
We were tasked with creating a wearable sculpture for Krishna, an almost completely blind dancer. We were inspired by her protection of herself and others and the support web she has in her life.
When we first talked to Krishna we were struck by a story she told us about helping a woman overcome her fear of coming back to dancing after an injury and how the women did not notice Krishna was blind until after the class. We really like that even though it was really hard for Krishna to adjust to being blind in daily life and as a dancer, she takes the time to help other people. We wanted to show this kindness she has and the people around her that support her to overcome her fears.
We created an arm piece that starts at her back and loops around to her arm. Originally we wanted to create a shield that she could use to 'protect' herself. The arm piece is made of different sized hexagons that are connected to a piece of fabric. To represent her support web, most of the hexagons have a pattern inside made of yarn that is wrapped around notches on the outer edges of each hexagon. We used yarn to incorporate Krishna's love for knitting. We hope that our piece communicates to the viewer the strength and bravery that Krishna has.
By Ilan Barnoon
This studio the students were tasked with creating personalized wearables for their dancer. Krishna is our dancer, she is a blind ballerina based in NY, NY and we decided to design Krishna a shield that represents her bravery in the face of the overwhelming terror of being blind. We chose the hexagon shape to represent the natural beauty and strength of Krishna.
Krishna as a blind ballerina faces frequent discrimination because of her disabilities. We talked about many different experiences with Krishna, ranging from people on their phones due to Pokemon go not being careful where they walk, to telling a frightened dancer to shadow her movements protecting her and helping the returning dancer with becoming confident again. We wanted to show people that even with her disability Krishna was still strong and still able. The shield was chosen as the wearable because of its association with heroism and bravery. Krishna described beauty as internal and natural and so we turned to nature for the intricate and personal details. The hexagon is natures go to shape, trees use it to build their sugars and limbs. Similarly to trees, Krishna expressed that she is sometimes treated as inanimate or unintelligent. We tried to incorporate this into the project by branching the hexagons off each other to attempt a tree structure. When we thought about the artistic details of the project we decided to use yarn to include Krishna's knitting. We used some really thick yarn and the laser cutter to make notches to wrap the yarn around creating these intricate yarn designs. The laser cutter was useful for making precise cuts.
We set out to design Krishna a wearable that represents her kindness, bravery, and beauty, all in one piece. Our wearable truly represents Krishna the blind ballerina.
By Flora Doremus
1. This project for Krishna, a blind dancer, is a hexagon shaped shield, symbolizing not only her protection of others but also her wide support web and love for textiles.
2. When we first talked to Krishna, one story, in particular, stood out to us. Krishna talked about a time in dance class when a woman came up to her who explained that she hadn't danced in a while due to past injuries. Krishna told the woman to stand behind her, and follow her moves. The woman followed Krishna, who hit every move, until the end of the class, when she thanked Krishna. Only then, as Krishna picked up her cane and walked away did she realize that she was blind. This is just one of many examples of how Krishna prioritizes not only kindness but other people. Our wearable really came from this piece of information. The overarching whole piece is a shield, made of hexagonal parts. We wanted it to symbolize how she protects others, and at the same time has a large support web behind her. The support web idea really came into play when we decided to stretch a string across the hollowed out hexagons. The whole piece starts behind her back and wraps around her shoulders and finishes on her left arm, mainly because she uses her right hand for her cane, and also talked about how she was more comfortable with the piece being on her back and out of her way. Hopefully, when people see this piece of her, they will receive a sense of protection and strength.