Christopher Moulder’s latest fiberglass lighting sculpture hangs in front of the Virginia Cotton Dock Lofts on the BeltLine’s Eastside trail.
By day, Fractal Mist #2 lingers like a cloud just out of reach above the brambles; at night, when lit, it looks more like gossamer spun by a giant spider, stretched between the branches.
This second iteration of the "Fractal Mist" series required a larger construction arena than the first, so Moulder built an outside coop (16’W x 16'L x 14’H) inside which, he developed a system of rubber bands and hooks stretched from netting that lined the walls, floor and ceiling. This system allowed him to pull and hold the fiberglass threads in place while they set. The technique, Moulder says, “is much like a yoga practice, or an exercise in avoiding laser beams on the way to the bank vault.”
Moulder took off his shoes to work because they tripped him up in the netting. Likewise, any clothing Moulder wore while weaving tangled in the labyrinth of bands and hooks, so he took his clothes off too. “But,” Moulder said, “that caused other problems... Eventually, I worked out wearing just my Bonds undies was best.”
For five weeks the sculpture grew like a crystal, day-by-day, knot-by-knot, growing into something unknown. Slowly, the ‘rules’ of tensioning and stretching the fiberglass thread became apparent allowing Moulder to control the process, somewhat.
Moulder noticed if he was frustrated or angry, at anything, not just the sculpture, the texture changed. "It became tighter, areas would condense and twist and compress; and when I was calm, the form opened up, the geometry became more delicate." "Fractal Mist #2," Moulder said, "is a five week map of my emotional state. The form is incidental, limited only by the size of the coop and the time available to create it."