Like the familiar legend of the Loch Ness Monster, Lake Ontario holds tales of unexplained, snake-like creatures that are said to cause shipwrecks and violent wakes. Since there’s little tangible evidence of these cryptids, there’s room for imagination. I believe that like most creatures, they can form either physical or metaphysical cocoons. Not unlike the cycle of a butterfly undergoing transformation, these cocoons can act as a protected place in which internal development cannot be seen externally.

Humans create cocoons in the same way. Living with invisible chronic illness is just one instance in which our perception of another’s external appearance is far from a reflection of the work that is happening within. Through my wife, Eva, I have seen how sufferers of invisible illness are treated like cryptozoological creatures because their truths are not easily seen or understood.

This installation stands to demonstrate that our protective shells should be celebrated for providing us room to grow without the need for meeting societal expectations or pressures; a place inside all of us where self-care and self-love can be the focus. And from within that cocoon, we can still glow.

Envelopod is made of hand-cut acrylic and copper scales. Guests are invited to reach out to the inhabitant of this cocoon by placing a hand upon a copper scale to allow the myriad of changing colours to emanate from within.

Allow this installation to be a nod to those who suffer silently, the cryptids among us.


  • Matt Charalambides

    Matt Charalambides received a BA in Industrial Design before finding his calling as an artist. With years of experience doing fabrication and design for retail, and a penchant for building over buying everything since adolescence, Matt left the office to become one with the wood shop when he launched Bear Bones Woodworks in 2013. Since then, his mixed medium art installations have been on display at events in Toronto, Chicago, New York, Houston and Miami. Creating work with an emphasis on challenging societies perceptions of the unknown, Matt’s work also challenges traditional design by utilizing eco and animal friendly materials throughout. When he’s not busy creating, he can be found wandering the tool aisles or the woods, finding inspiration in the everyday.