Nicole Sletta Mixed Media sculpture/installation

gloved hands emanating from a shaggy torso hold a blue speckled enamel mug

Date and Time

Tue Jun 1, 2021 through Tue Jun 1, 2021

Artist Statement

As human existence reaches toward a dull monotony humanity yearns for escape, to another world, another existence, an alternate reality. These days, it seems that this other world has converged with mine.

The Yetisquatch is a fictional cryptid I created to help me escape my solitude and worries during the pandemic. In quarantine we all had to adjust to this abrupt drastic change to the lives we knew. We could no longer trust our bodies to keep us safe and we’re overcome with this threat from an invisible force. The world was skidding to a stop in front of me while I was still processing an assault that had happened the year before. I was exposed to this vulnerability of having a body that could not protect me. Filling my desire to find an alternative from my anxiety and discomfort, I embraced the Yetisquatch as both a friend and a body I could escape into.

This creature exists as a costume built out of layers upon layers of yarn attached to hardware store netting that may be worn by myself or a performer. Putting on the costume was a way for me to abandon my own circumstances and worries and play in a world where I wasn’t weighed down by the vulnerability of having a human body. I believe in Yetisquatch because I need to believe that I will get through this and will be stronger afterwards.

While the chaos of the world felt like it was multiplying and the global pandemic raged, my room became a sanctuary. A safe house. A space I had all to myself, away from the viral load of anti-maskers at the grocery store. In my room, I was in control. I gave Yetisquatch a house clad in recycled windows and lumber so that it too could have a safe space to exist and come home to when the external world became too much. The interior is soft and mossy, the walls and surfaces are covered in yarn and felt fabrics, mixed with artificial plants. The cabin is gently reclaimed by a crafted nature, as I reclaim my own body.

“I believe in Yetisquatch because I need to believe that I will get through this and will be stronger afterwards.”

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