One of David Collins’ most ambitious public art projects to date, Clearly People featured 41 sculptures made entirely of clear packing tape. This 2017 endeavor utilized 700 rolls of tape many live models who didn’t mind being wrapped up.
With assistance from fellow Lakeland artist Meredith Pope, Collins covered each model in tape and then cut them free, resulting in a transparent shell of their form. While many of these sculptures remained clear, some received a coat of paint, while others got to wear actual clothes. Collins didn’t stop at human beings, either. The series includes many other creatures, such as geese, mermaids, fairies, and a giant paint tube squirting out multiple people.
While there was a gallery reception for this series that featured Lakeland photographer David Dickey’s photos, the sculptures were destined for the outdoors. For several months, they inhabited the downtown Lakeland area, piquing the curiosity of locals and visitors alike. Each in a unique spot, the tape sculptures interacted with both their surroundings and the people observing them.