The Art Assignment #7: What, How, Where

This was the first Art Assignment where the artists didn’t build on their own artwork, but on their experience of encouraging others to do something creative:

My initial thought was, wow! This is going to be fun. We were told to find something we liked. But I thought, no way, I’m going to stick with the first thing that comes up, and challenge myself. But then I went to the website, and I got this…


Now, I suppose, to most people this might seem kind of random. But my nan has a very large garden. Her and my mum are particularly busy in there this time of year. And at one point or another we will have to shift something horribly heavy. Probably sacks of compost. The likelihood of me, my mum, my nan, and my dad (my three people) lifting something heavy on grass is pretty high. But something so heavy that it would take all of us? Unlikely. And I like to be logical about these things. The generator told me ‘heavy’ (meaning heavy for us) and that’s what I’m sticking to. But, seeing as my mum and nan are out of action with bad backs it’s unlikely anyway. So I decided to give the generator another go. And got this…


Seriously? As romantic as it sounds, like the beginning of an adventure (which it wouldn’t be, it would be a walk with the dog), I wanted a challenge. Also, I used to do this as a kid. I don’t quite remember why. I remember, on one occasion, trying to work out whether my Nan’s dog would be a good guide dog, she wasn’t. So I decided on a ‘best of three’ philosophy and hit the generator again, and got this…


Now this was something I could get behind. But where hadn’t I been before? Surely if I hadn’t been there before it was because I didn’t want to go there? But also, how are you supposed to think of a place you haven’t been to before? That’s everywhere isn’t it? And nowhere. Because if you haven’t been there before it doesn’t yet constitute a place in your mind. Also, I don’t plan on living here much longer, and the place I choose should really be somewhere I know I can return to. Somewhere that won’t change. And then I had an idea. For a long time I’d been planning to build a fort in the living room, while my parents were on holidays. A fort is perfect, I thought, it’s more of a psychological space than anything else. It’s something I can build again, no matter where I am in the world, and have a picnic. So, when my parents went away for the weekend I built my fort.


You probably can’t tell from the photo but I’m a little despondent. Just before I sat down to my ‘picnic’ (mackerel on toast, nectarines, pineapple, and lemonade) I had a scam call from some man determined to scare me into thinking that he was calling from Microsoft, and that my computer was being hacked. I was having none of it but it tainted my meal. I stayed in the fort for an hour afterwards, watching the most recent episode of ‘Castle’ and having a coffee. Thinking it might restore me before I returned upstairs to my computer. The guy ended up calling two more times before I lost the will to argue and just shouted at him. I had my dinner in the fort as well. It was pretty much the same as lunch.


My plan had been to keep the fort up for a couple of days and have all my meals in there, and watch some tv. But the fact is it got quite dark in the living room (the blinds were closed, obviously) after a while, the ‘Microsoft’ guy had put me in a grumpy mood, and I realised that forts were not as much fun as when I was a kid. Because I was missing the key ingredient, other people. But I’ve realised that, as a 5’9″ adult, I’m actually quite good at making forts, so it’s definitely something I can do again with minimal fuss. But next time I’m going to do it with someone else.

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