The weight blanket
In September 2016, I presented a talk to the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland, followed by a workshop some days later. For the talk I brought the work, mineral down, a large organza blanket, weighted by around 4000 stones stitched between two layers, and learnt about the use of weighted blankets and wraps in therapy, in particular, in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, autism, ADHD, restless leg syndrome (RLS), Aspergers and sensory disorders. Patients with an oversensitivity to touch have also undergone effective treatment using the blanket, replacing an earlier intervention known, unambiguously, as the "squeeze machine". Much like a hug, the pressure of the blanket offers comfort, security and calm to the user.
The blanket, in clinical use, is generally measured at 10% of the user's body weight. The stone blanket shown here is considerably more than this. Once I learnt of this use of weighted blankets, I invited the attendants at the talk to try it. Some lay on the floor, with the blanket placed down over them; others preferred to have it draped around their shoulders like a cape, as they stood. It is a peculiar sensation, because although the weight pushes down on you, particularly challenging as you stand, it also has the effect of providing stability.
Apart from this sense of security, of being held, it also has the effect of of presenting - presencing - the body to itself, effectively splitting consciousness from the object of consciousness.. The feeling of the weight from without, is also the feeling of the body from within.
The works in the images show also several objects that are made in the same way - small stones held between sheer layers of organza. They are smaller and are more like sacks, or empty skins.