Making my cocoon
By Laura Santizo and Caterpillar(s)

Started on: 06/09/13 22:55:17
Medium: Visual

This caterpillar is of the species Hyles lineata. The larval form will eventually transform into a white-lined sphinx moth. It likes to eat willow weed and fourío clock which are available around campus in the more natural areas. When itís ready to cocoon it burrows in soil, into its chrysalis where typically remains for 2-3 weeks. The cocoon is where the transformation happens, it serves as a protecting casing and can be ďtough or soft, opaque or translucent, solid or meshlike, of various colors, or composed of multiple layers, depending on the type of insect larva producing it.Ē As I waited for Mothra to cocoon I began to think of what my cocoon would be like, what materials would I use to enclose myself. I knew it had to be sturdy so I started with a wire structure. I laid down on top a rectangular strip of chicken wire and began to wrap it myself with it, first at my feet and eventually around my head. Cocoons typically have one predetermined exit point that allows for a one-way passage out. I decided to leave the space to exit my head because this is how humans enter the world. I wanted my rebirth to stay to true my human nature. For covering, I decided use old clothes that hadnít been able to get rid of but that I definitely didnít wear anymore. I think that clothing says a lot about a person, what we wear is one of the choices were make everyday. Inherent in every piece of clothing is a story not only of when we acquired it but every time we used it thereafter. Each garment takes on itís own special significance, they showcase our transitioning from child to adulthood. Our clothes serves as marker of our changing tastes and identities.I began by tearing all my old clothes into strips and wrapping them around the bottom of the cocoon. Ripping up the clothes that I held onto for long was strange as I felt I destroying something that was of real value - to me and others who might still use them. Like the caterpillar leaves behind his old self, and I would be letting go of a part of my old self - embracing new forms. Covering a life size cocoon took much more clothing that I though it would. Iíve decided that Iíll continue this piece as a longtime project so that the final piece will be a more complete presentation of my changing self. Eventually might even turn into a performance where I escape this cocoon Iíve spent to so long making.
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