I decided to site my piece in the balcony of the reading room. This is somewhere that people rarely go, the whole room is quiet and smells like books. It is a place where I feel calm.
I began to think about the things that make me feel calm when I am overwhelmed or stressed..
When I was a little girl I used to struggle sleeping. I used to make up scenarios in which I would wake up and everyone would be gone. So my favourite thing was when my mum had friends over and I could go to sleep to the muffled sounds of them talking downstairs. Due to the balcony being upstairs and separated from the rest of the room I decided that this was something I wanted to recreate with my site specific piece.
Another thought that immediately came to me when originally sitting in that space was when I was recently taken on a tour of students studios as part of a university open day, I saw that in one of the completely white spaces someone had painted the word ‘MOTH’ in dribbly mauve paint. This image for some reason stuck in my head and was something I held there throughout creating this piece. Although I didn’t directly reference it I took a lot of inspiration of the dusty comforting imagery that came to mind. It to me seemed like the sort of place a moth would live, in amongst the books and dust.
I created a cocoon inspired den/tent out of blankets that had enough room for one person to sit. The aim was to create a cosy space for someone to go and feel calm, safe and comforted.
Although the experience on the balcony is for one person to enjoy at a time and is a very personal experience it is designed for a group of people to be involved.
Downstairs in the middle of the reading room I set out small cups of and a pot of camomile tea. So that it became an opportunity for people to talk and get to know each other. Once you had a cup of tea and were ready you could go upstairs to the balcony one by one and sit in the safe space I had created with the muffled calm voices downstairs as a reassurance.