I interacted with many turtles this quarter and while doing this I noticed the large variety of shells that exist within one species of turtle. I then began to become interested in how turtles interact with their own shells and found out that the shell is connected with their skeleton. They also often retreat into their shells when startled. I thought it would be interesting to juxtapose this action with a common human phrase "breaking out of one's shell". Instead, I chose to invite humans to enter the shell and thereby experience the way a turtle lives. This creates a deeper understanding of the animal and how it functions. Turtles are so interesting, they don't do much, but the fact that they are carrying their shelter on their back is a pretty hefty feat.
It was great to see my sculpture exhibited. People seemed to really enjoy the experience of being a turtle. It definitely created some funny moments as well. I think of this piece as prototype 1 and hope to create more precise replicas of a variety of shells.
P.S. my roommate told me that the photo we looked at during the reception was in fact a soft shelled turtle and not a turtle without a shell. If you look at the photo I found/posted you can see that it would be pretty impossible to take the shell off without hurting the turtle.