Whitescapes: Part 1

A response to Odili Donald Odita’s Art Assignment

I’ve been meaning to make a mobile to hang from this sticky hook ever since we moved into this apartment and discovered it there.

The Materials:

I knew that any objects I chose must be light enough that I wouldn’t worry about my mobile breaking this sticky hook (of which I know nothing) from the ceiling. And I decided that they must still feel ‘white’ when I placed them on the desk in preparation.

I needed something to act as a base, and I didn’t have anything white (other than heavy ceramics) to serve that purpose, so I wrapped up an old damaged soccer ball in a white jumper.


The Process:

I built haphazardly, trying to create something with a spread of heights and distances but not allowing myself to change anything after I’d hung it.

The Outcome:

In the end I liked how it felt like a world, perhaps with little communities or utilities hanging off the side. It reminded me a little of each of Luminocity (computer game) and The Edge Chronicles (books).

As far as the colours go, it seems that most things feel yellowy compared to the bright shiny white of new white socks and scrunched printer paper. But I’ve only just hung it up. I’ll report back in a week or so.

close your eyes, step through.

In response to Maria Gaspar’s Art Assignment – Body in Place

There’s a little corner of trees (casuarinas, I think) that I walk through most days. They’re tucked between the zoo wall, a tram track and the hockey/netball centre. They don’t make a very big forest. Sometimes when I step in, if the wind is blowing gently, I close my eyes and pretend I’m in the country. I’m really glad this mini forest exists, and it often makes me happy, but sometimes that happiness is temporary and I’m left with sadness instead. 

So I overlaid two photos together, to give some sense of that tension.

“and it feels like i’m a million miles away” – by Sylvia Morris (she/her)

A response to Art Assignment: Constructed Landscape by Paula McCartney.

Title courtesy of San Angelo by Third Day.

( @theartassignment @theartassignmentresponses as far as i can tell this isn’t showing up in the tags for reasons unknown)

imaginary garden. by Sylvia Morris (she/her)

A response to Art Assignment: Boundaries by Zarouhie Abdalian.

My current apartment does not have a balcony and I really miss having a piece of outdoors. I miss having a garden to try growing plants. I miss being able to sit in privacy on a nice sunny day. I miss eating dinner outside.

On the plus side, we have these huge windows. They let in tons of light and (on sunny winter days) keep my room warm and dry our clothes. 

I guess I have a kind of complicated relationship with the windows because I do really like them, but I resent them because I can see the outdoors and it reminds me of how I don’t have a garden.

So I started fingerpainting a garden.

I can imagine that if I end up adding more and more plants I might eventually be able to sit with a cup of tea, sunlight filtering through, and believe I’m in a greenhouse. I’ll keep you posted.

just a sec, i’m thinking.

A response to Art Assignment: Make A Thing by Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan, also drawing inspiration from Brandan Odums’ Artistic Alchemy Art Assignment.

I love things that make me think about the internet and technology. I love technology. I love how fast it changes and I love how connected we can be.

I got caught up thinking about symbols. (I love contemplating the etymology(?) of symbols and how symbols carry very specific meanings just like words do. Multimodal communication is good times.) And I was also thinking about things from the internet/computers that I would wish for in real life.

Sometimes I just pause, apparently. When I’m really stressed. My husband says I sometimes just stand, as if paralysed, while I try to figure out what’s going on. 

Sometimes I want a minute to think about what I’m going to say before I say it. Or I just start talking before I’ve figured out where I’m going.

I figured a loading symbol would be useful.

And then I thought about how I often start thinking of an idea but then get sidetracked and think about other things and forget what my plan was and start randomly refreshing websites. I thought if I could make something tactile for myself to remind me that I’m thinking along a very specific line, for a very specific purpose… something that uses up my hand so I can’t just hit refresh on tumblr.

(Rollerblade wheel: I bought some rollerblades from an op shop. They were a tiny bit too big and a little bit broken. I didn’t really feel safe using them so I just left them sitting in my room for a while. The Artistic Alchemy Assignment encouraged me to make something with them so I spent a good afternoon taking the wheels off and cleaning them and trying to take the rest of the skates apart. I couldn’t make my plan work though, so I just left the pieces in a plastic bag and tripped over it constantly.)

(NB: Yes, mostly loading signs go the other way but I already put the whole thing together before painting it. Feel free to invent your own practical/philosophical reason as to why my version might spin anticlockwise.)

an eternal self-belief. by Sylvia Morris

(response to Toyin Odutola’s Art Assignment)

I didn’t do this assignment way back when it was set because I couldn’t figure out a topic. There are so many things that I consider to be indispensable and I might do more gifs in the future. But I’ve been spending time lately thinking about time, about my past and future selves, about what makes me intrinsically me. 

I remembered a time in highschool when, rejected by a boy, I stared at my reflection in the mirror and realised that I thought no less of myself. I was sad, I was disappointed, but I still thought that I was pretty great.

Self-belief is a tricky thing. It has often been marketed to me as a flaw by people who think that any self-confidence is offensive to God, and by people who think self-confidence is equivalent to thinking you are always right. And I am aware that my self-confidence is, at least in part, a result of being privileged in just about every way.

But I am still grateful for it. I am glad that when my world falls apart, I can stare at my face in the mirror, and believe in that person, and start again.