Cloak started off as a collaboration with my dog, D’arbo. We would treat her to a new toy every now and again, and she doted on these stuffed animals, carrying them from place to place within the house and on adventures outside. But sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, she would completely de-stuff one of them, leaving the carcass discarded on the floor, and its innards scattered across the house. I would then collect all of the bits, and stitch her friends back together again. It wasn’t long before she found the exact place that I had just repaired, only to rip it open once again!
This went on for years and years, until I had the brilliant idea to connect them all in a single costume; like one giant toy. And that is how Cloak came to be. Much like G.Raff, the original intention for Cloak shifted over time, but in this case, it was because our sweet D’arbo died. Initially a playful celebration of the collaboration between me and D’arbo, Cloak’s presence now took on a more somber tone. The garment embodied something more spiritual, and had become a representation of time—of D’arbo’s seven years on earth. Each toy was a tiny time-capsule that held within it a memory of her existence.
Cloak is performed by Brian McMullen and has appeared in artists’ books and videos—most notably in G.Raff, Spotted in the Forest. In his role for this series of performances, Cloak acts as G.Raff’s spiritual guide as she navigates loss and searches for meaning.