E. E. McCollum and the “Cocoon Series”

Phew!  It had been a very busy and stressful week.  So this past Saturday morning, in the peaceful early hours, I found myself looking for something soul-soothing and I found it on the pages of LensWork online in E. E. McCollum’s “Cocoon Series.”  Of course, I immediately visited McCollum’s own site and found many more wonderful images.

The cocoon series began when McCollum’s friend and model Kaitlin went into the dressing room of his studio, donned a nylon body cocoon, and began posing in it.  The effect is arresting.  The cocoon creates: first a sense of mystery, second its own marvelous forms, and third some of the most gorgeous ripple textures imaginable.  I just love these wave patterns.  To me, as a scientist, they are suggestive of what are called space time warps.  In physics, these gravity patterns represent being.  Every object or person creates a warp in space time that affects all other object or persons.

Of course, the cocoon represents transformation – the fundamental transformation between caterpillar and butterfly.  It is death and then it is resurrection to something much more beautiful.  It has that fundamental ambiguity of meaning about it and therein lies the great mystery.

I keep trying to figure out which image in “The Cocoon Series” is my favorite, and that is very hard.  Maybe it is #41, which I love for its photographic and compositional qualities.  But then there is #34 which is so beautiful because of its simplicity and its sense of beauty emergent.

I also think that McCollum’s “Dance” series holds many gems.  I am struck by the figures in motion leaping through the air.  It is curious, when there is a single figure captured in motion its kind of “OK that is cool!”  But when there are two figures, such as “Greenfield #2,” it all becomes just magical and balance.  It defies gravity,

This is a website that I plan on returning to.  And it offered up a wonderful start to a weekend.


This entry was posted in Reviews and Critiques.

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  1. […] have recently spoken about the great appeal of dance photography in connection with the work of E. E. McCollum.  There is, of course, an artistic tradition that goes back to Degas.  The diversity form and […]

  2. By A hideous cocoon | Hati and Skoll Gallery on August 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    […] year ago I posted about E. E. McCollum’s incredible “Cocoon Series.”  They are such gorgeous images, woven to tell a tale of rebirth, emergence, and […]