Jessica Hemmings

Textile Writer

Cocooned/White/Reflection

BY JESSICA HEMMINGS

Cocooned/White/Reflection

Cocooned: To envelop in or as if in a cocoon, as for protection from a harsh or unfriendly environment or to retreat as if into a cocoon, as for security from a harsh or unfriendly environment.

Floral textiles have felt the seasons’ change. Spring is unexpected and confused. Blurred with winter it retreats for protection. The body, wrapped tightly in protective fibres, looks inward. Pattern appears not on the surface of cloth, but as a growth from beneath. Caught between translucent layers, stark shapes like pods are caught in pockets. Bold, irregular patterns rest in their protective skins and wait patiently for the light. Impossible to replicate, their arrangement is random, wind-borne, happenstance.

White: Of the color of pure snow, of the margins of this page; reflecting nearly all the rays of sunlight; light or comparatively light in color; pallid or pale; silvery, gray or hoary; lacking color; transparent; blank.

White light emerges. Cool, like a frost. Pods and pockets break free to float on fragile surfaces. The textile is lined with the veins of fibres, threading back and forth like the spider’s diligent construction. The body is shrouded. Skin covered. Close-fitting layers wrinkle and pucker like the bone-dry skin of a weathered and discarded fruit. Shapes cling. Tenacious layers wait for recovery; wait for warmth.

Reflection: The act of reflecting or the state of being reflected; an image; representation; counterpart; a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration; a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.

From cold, dry fibres of protection emerges a light-catching beauty of hopeful, reflective adornment. Interior layers, now nurtured, appear in bold patterns that relish the freedom of light and air. Their growth is a fertile, optimistic celebration. Leaves dapple the surface in a reflection of light. Surfaces record surfaces. Layers rest lightly, one upon the other, separated by air and the protection they have shed. A metamorphosis, dynamic and optimistic, is revealed.

Bloom (issue 16: 55)