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Cocoon of Power, a sculpture by Leonie Castelino

Cocoon of Power

Leonie Castelino

Sculpture in Textile

78 x 18 inches

Collection of the Artist

Mahwah, New Jersey


A sculpture of inspirational statements of personal achievement despite significant challenges.


I believe in the Power of Art to create awareness on issues that are significant to me. In many cultures girls are not valued. In 2018, at a solo exhibition in Seoul, Korea, the message of my Installation was for the right of girls to live, dream and reach for the stars. I requested my women friends to send me a personal statement of achievement that I could create an inspirational cocoon that would be the soul. I used the first 21 statements from women born in 11 countries from four continents. Three of the women are part of our Hammond Artist Group: Esmeralda Lyn, Veronica Wilkinson and Bibiana Huang Matheis.


It had to be called 'Cocoon of Power' when I received Esmeralda's statement: "I found my voice in the classroom, in the boardroom, in every room I inhabit. My voice is Power."


Veronica from Cape Town commented that "Prejudice kills and competition maims. We all wear bracelets of experience. Best to manifest hope."


Bibiana noted that she overcame myriad challenges. She was born into a conservative Chinese family, arrived at 12 in the US, had to learn English on her own, ran away from home to pursue art on a full scholarship, suffered a near fatal car accident which handicapped her for years, the first in her family to marry a non-Chinese, and a cancer

survivor - but art freed her to become a successful practicing artist, photographer and

curator. For her, fostering creativity is her raison d'etre. I quote from her closing statement: "My current heartfelt ambition is to establish a women's art museum."


We are all part of this journey with vision and initiative for the Virtual Monthly Exhibitions of the Hammond Museum. More that 250 artists from around the world initiated by friends of friends, strangers before, acquaintances and friends now, are connected through personal expressions of creativity via the magic of Zoom. We are all vested in the success of the Hammond Museum, as our annual dues contribute to the funding of the Clay Workshop and Studio, as well as, the Arts Education Program for children and adults for Spring 2022.

This is our first Virtual Exhibition Anniversary.


I take this opportunity to commend and thank Bibiana, as well as, the many who volunteer incredible time and effort to figure out how to make this possible for all of us, to plan and rehearse for each opening. Poet Gold, Douglass Ridgeway our Zoom Master, and behind the scenes, RAW Design Lab who loads up our website links and images on the Hammond website.


I quote from Ania Gilmore's statements on my Cocoon, "If you believe it, you can achieve it!

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