Comfort Sessions TravelPod
My installed Comfort Session pieces are effective, but obviously, I can't drag an installation of that magnitude around easily. I have always loved buskers - street performers are small escapes from the daily hustle, placed right in the path of the hustle itself. I wanted to tranform my lullaby sessions into an experience that mimicked that model. How could I give the intensity of my Comfort Session experience in a way that could be easily moved to the person who needed it?
The challenge with this piece has been to create a unit light enough and comfortable enough to be fully portable and easy to wear, while still giving full privacy, and enough space inside to keep the session recipient from feeling awkward or trapped. It has been an architectural challenge of the highest proportion.
The piece hinges along the back, providing clear and easy access for the participant - because my husband is tall, I remembered to add enough upper air space to accommodate someone much taller than my own average height. At the same time, it ends far enough off the ground that I can kneel if required for someone very small. I have purposely left my upper body mostly available for hugging or nestling, which is an option for people who desire it, and to allow full breathing for singing; that made securing the unit to my body much more complicated.
It is probably not a coincidence that the piece is shaped like an egg - it is efficient and strong, and avoids the awkwardness of square corners. The material I found for the exterior is an insulating fabric that sandwiches two level s of felted fiber with a thin layer of foil in between, which absorbs exterior noise and allows for an outside surface covered with pinpoints of light when the built-in LED lighting system is turned on.
I have no idea where the triangular forms that cover the exterior came from, but they were there from the beginning. Now that the piece is completed, I can see the form of a horse chestnut-- that prickly defensive exterior protecting a smooth spherical interior--and I think it's an apt metaphor.
Appreciation for Comfort Sessions TravelPod
Karen Hayes Intern
Vilma Salvatierra Seamstress