"The Cocoon Series"
March 13–April 7, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 13, 6:30–8:00 pm
Cocoon Series #7
In “The Cocoon Series,” photographer E.E. McCollum artfully captures and transforms the human figure by using nylon tubing to encase the body. This series of black and white photographs, on display at The Art League Gallery March 13 – April 7, 2014, is both mesmerizing and thought provoking.
“I think you’ll like this,” Katlyn told me, and ran to the dressing room to fetch a 6-foot long tube of tan-colored nylon from her knapsack. It was the end of a session and we had both become a little stale. While I find the nude figure a compelling subject for my work, and one I have shot continuously for the past nine years, it is also a subject that is immersed in our ideas, cultural images, emotions, fantasies. It is sometimes hard to see clearly and with fresh eyes in the midst of all that surrounds the figure.
Katlyn wriggled into what I later discovered was called a “body cocoon” and suddenly it was a different figure in front of me. The body of the woman I had been photographing transformed as the stretchy nylon defined the sculptural space around her arms and legs and torso. I was mesmerized.
McCollum shot dozens of images exploring the web of curves that the cocoon created around the body. The models experimented with motion and various poses, creating different lines of the body, and playing with highlights and shadows. Eventually, two adventuresome models agreed to get into one cocoon together. “The nylon lent an air of unreality to their compressed faces peering toward the camera.” A female/male duo was also introduced, and the addition of a masculine figure brought new depth to the images.
“The project has been on-going for three years now. It continues to grow, and I remain fascinated. The funky nylon tube transforms what it encases. Wrapped, contained, the body becomes mysterious, sensuous in a new way, disturbing, emotional.”
Largely self-taught, McCollum has studied with a number of photographers in the Washington, DC area as well as nationally, most notably Kim Weston and Elizabeth Opalenik. McCollum has been featured in various publications including PH Magazine and NUDE Lenswork. He is a member of The Art League and Multiple Exposures Gallery in the Torpedo Factory Art Center.