Creative Prompt Two:

Traces of Traces.


What will survive of us? It could perhaps be argued that of every work of art is made as an attempt to linger here a little longer. Every poem, every image, every sonata is perhaps an attempt to cry out into an ever-encroaching oblivion and in the hope that our sounds carries and a trace of who we were remains. In 1971 the Italian artist Giuseppe Penone took a pale stone and pressed onto it a dark print of his own hand – a trace, physical evidence of his existence. He then cast the stone into a river, documenting the action in a sequence of photographs. The final image in the sequence shows the pale stone on the riverbed, resting alongside innumerable other stones, leaving the imagination to lurch forward in time, envisaging the half-life of this trace left by the artist. The ceaseless movement of the river will wear away the handprint, it will grow increasingly faint as layers of stone erode until it disappears. Where does the artist’s handprint go, dispersed so finely in the water such as this? There is a futility in Penone’s action. However perhaps there is poetry to be found in the artist’s autonomy, the trace he chose to leave behind. Create a work that engages with the idea of a leaving a trace, consider the beauty of projecting glimmers of your own self-expression into oblivion and the tragedy that they will swiftly become dispersed and indiscernible in the darkness.

(Below: Giuseppe Penone, 'Svolgere la Propria Pelle/Pierta (Unroll Your Skin/Stone), 1971. Engraved stone, documentation photographs.)

Creative Prompt One:

The City.


Perhaps a city is built to resemble the conscious mind. A network designed for such cerebral human endeavours as planning, manufacturing, administrating, calculating. Perhaps then, urban ruins could be considered the unconscious of the city: its memory, its dark recesses, its lost purposes. What are ruins after all? Relics that spring free from human plans and are transformed by incremental processes of erosion, rust and rot until they becomes something as intricate as life, full of epiphanies and dangers. Create a work that explores the idea of the city as a conscious human mind, or alternately a work that considers the way that urban ruins resemble the murky, uncertain subconscious.

Using Format