The Fear and Tranquility of Nature
I have made a top and skirt which are designed to challenge people’s irrational fears and negative perceptions of insects and arachnids and make them feel more comfortable with nature. Both garments are loose to combat feeling the need to be protected around harmless insects. There is knitting on the back, three insect leg shapes, to recreate the sensation of crawling so the wearer associates this feeling with the garment instead of an insect. The garment is intentionally not hemmed because the edges of each piece are shapes I found from insect bitten leaves. Around the raw hem I have sewn a blue and orange outline as these are colours which attract insects. Through my interviews with people that have this irrational fear, I learned that what many people are afraid of is the small size of insects and how they can get lost and hidden in garments. The folding I have done on the skirt and top is recreating the dark crevices in which insects usually hide. I have done this to change people habitually fearing what insects may be there and instead not worrying about this. The folds are in the shape of veins on a leaf because these patterns are fractal patterns which have been found to be calming, also the colour of the fabric is green because many people I interviewed said how they found green to be calming. I wanted my garment to be a calming experience for the wearer as I am combating what they fear, helping them accept it and in turn making being around nature a relaxing experience. The three round shaped pockets on the garment are inspired by the shape of insect galls, which are abnormal plant growths caused by certain insects when the insect feeds or lays eggs on the plant. The insect then uses the gall as a source of food and a habitat, in most cases this does not harm the plant. The gall shaped pockets highlight how we should be able to co-exist with insects, just as plants and insects co-exist.