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Fish Bellies is a series of organic, illuminated sculptures created for a dormitory courtyard on the Texas State University campus. Composed of layers of frosted acrylic, Fish Bellies‘ large biomorphic forms draw inspiration from the social and biological diversity of the nearby San Marcos River, reflecting parallels between its ecological life and the University’s varied student body. During the day, the piece’s translucency operates like ethereal anatomy whereas at night it transforms into a bioluminescent landscape.

Fish Bellies generates a student landmark by inviting people to climb into and on top of the interlocking series of glowing enclosures. The sculpture encourages socialization while also respecting individual space. The illuminated compartments form protective rooms that surround the inhabitant with colored light. Embedded in each enclosure are two touch-sensitive buttons that allow visitors to transform the piece by curating the color and saturation levels of the internal LED lighting.




Texas State University, San Marcos, TX


30' x 15' x 12' - 12 total


acrylic, stainless steel, LED lighting, electronics, touch sensors

Commissioning Agency: 

Texas State University


Joe O'Connell

Blessing Hancock

Fish Bellies

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