Metamorphosis

May 2008
Studio 370, Holliston, MA

Chrysalis For several weeks in April and May of 2008, Douglas Lack’s Art 1 class at Holliston High School collaborated with Denise Driscoll on the installation that became Metamorphosis. Discarded clothing was cut into strips and braided into ropes. These ropes were woven into a human-size cocoon which was encased in a shell of plaster and beeswax. Students stamped words on strips of silk for other things they had outgrown or wanted to leave behind. They lined the chrysalis with their words.

DNA Blanket with Haiku When not working with the students, Driscoll folded painted paper into small red, black, gold and white paper envelopes. The envelopes were then glued onto large sheets of paper using the ACTG sequences in human DNA. The four colors replaced the four nucleotides, adenine, cytosine, thymine and guanine. Chromosome 1 was used from the Human Genome Project. The entire chromosome carries 18 million characters. Only about 3000 were used here.

Arr Saves Lives Doors were thrown open to the public for the school-wide annual arts festival, Art Saves Lives. The students invited visitors to stamp something they were ready to leave behind on a strip of silk and tie to the the braids that made a web across the top of the gallery.

Hundreds of haiku written by poet, Tom Driscoll, were printed on tiny slips of paper and tucked into the wall of envelopes. Visitors selected, read and replaced the haiku until satisfied. Some were taken and some were added. Studio 370 was an active place. By the end of the evening, the web was filled with many words.

At the end of the exhibit, the web and all attached words on silk were rolled into a large ball.

To learn more, visit the Metamorphosis blog.