I wanted this piece to explore the impact of restrictive identities both for individuals and broader groups.
The pain of operating within restrictions that you don’t identify with is universal. One of the hardest parts of coming out is reclaiming authorship of our identity and rejecting the version of ourselves designed to satisfy others. Sometimes loved ones are so invested in their understanding of our identity that trying to change it can feel almost sacrilegious.
I was so used to looking to others for permission to expand or update my identity that I lost sight of my own agency. As painful as this constriction can be, the discomfort can prove a powerful catalyst for the reconfiguration of limiting structures.
The design was inspired by the gothic architecture of churches and the practice of immurement, imprisonment by ‘walling in’. The ‘fins’ are made from wired craft foam and the cap was created with Fosshape, a heat-setting fabric.