Figuring out a way to bring the subject of polypharmacy (see previous blog) into the world as a 3-dimenional object proved a challenging enterprise. I knew I wanted to create a life-size human vessel that would serve as a transparent pill bottle. Housing the pills I had collected inside the figure/bottle would simultaneously serve to suggest their ingestion, and the customary packaging from the pharmacy. How to go about this, however, was way outside any previous experience of mine.
Many, and I mean, many, phone calls and emails and months later, there was a plan. 3D body scanning, CNC milling, and plastic vacuum forming were the solutions decided upon by the Walla Walla Foundry in Washington. They are one of the few facilities where all phases of the project could be completed in-house and are known for their exceptional quality and expertise in the field. My job was to find a model to begin the first phase of the project. I was looking for a female senior citizen to pose nude while being body scanned at the foundry by a near teenager. What were the odds that some kind soul would answer my ad in the local paper? The odds were good it seemed. From 65 to 87 years old, they called. Some too thin – I needed a vessel after all. Some too heavy – too many pills required to fill. Finally . . . Goldilocks. Not the least bit self- conscious, incredibly cooperative, and an amazingly good sport. And in under an hour, most of it prep, Connie (not her real name) became pure digital data.