Shannon Sutherland
Undergraduate, Visual Art Studies

Outside of the Bubble
mixed media

When proposing ways to increase biodiversity, the deconstruction of the human ego is significantly absent from the conversation. Perhaps the answer to increasing biodiversity is simply expanding one’s perception beyond the boundaries of one’s constructed bubble. 

When constructing my piece, I took into consideration that the geometric shape of a bubble is a sphere; a perfectly round, geometrical article. I decided to design my constructed space in the sphere's opposite; a cube. The cube is often used by scientists to communicate ideas of space and time. To emphasize these ideas, I placed mirror tiles within the cube and created a circular entrance, so participants could place their head into the space. When spectators entered the piece, the space appeared infinite, and time, like its true nature, is a human-made constructed concept, and thus, is nonexistent. 

Within the space, I chose butterflies as a totem for nature because they are known for their beauty, but their lives are fleeting. The average adult has a life span of two weeks or less. By placing butterflies in an infinite space, as well as allowing participants to place their head within the cube, the piece is making life, which is a momentary state, immortal. Through the architecture of the space, the sculptural installation operates as a device that pops "the bubble" that we have secluded ourselves within, and allows us to appreciate the beauty of nature.