06 February 2008

What Am I?

So I had this assignment for art history (Narrative and Craft) last week in which we had to describe a craft object without actually saying what the object was or being too obvious about its form. So here's what I wrote:
I am animal:
I have a head and a tail and a spine, twisted threads like sinews and springy muscles of raised bands to hold me together. I am calf brown.

I am vegetable:
I have leaves and boards and dye of vegetable. I am oak brown and pale brown blank-featured and creamy pale linen.

I am no mineral at all (though I might have been clasped in brass).

My rectangular form would have been familiar to monks, my size comfortable to hold and turn in the hands, my purpose to transmit learning.

I am not living, but my kind have long lives. We are stolen, defaced, traded for high prices and lost at the bottom of seas. We hold the world’s knowledge, but I am empty, waiting to be filled with your thoughts.

I won't say what it is just yet, because of this next part of the assignment, which was to take someone else's description, randomly chosen for us by the TA and do a sketch of what we think the object is. Here's the one I got:

The dance floor was enclosed by fourteen intricate darkened pillars. Halfway up, each pillar had been carved away to create a lattice like motif in which carnations intertwined creating their own dance. The sun was so bright that every metal surface shone gold, even the carnations appeared metallic.

The music started to play and a young dancer appeared. With quick taps of castanets her hands demanded attention. She looked as if she had been practicing outdoors her whole life. Her skin had started to crease ever so slightly from the sun and heat. The swirl of her skirt on her brightly coloured dress was mesmerizing. The pillars then appeared as many dancing legs which became one with the movement of the skirt. As it gracefully flared away from her slender body, only to be pulled in close as if it was an extension of herself. The pirouette movement created a path that brought the natural perfume of the carnations into the air and across the dance floor. The scalloped edge of her dress embellished with the carnations resembled the crochet doilies on the tables back at the hotel.

High up on the hill the scenery expanded like that of the fabric in the dancers skirt. Overlooking the coast, coliseum and the city, the colours blue, green, red, gold and brilliant white created a rich portrait of the land.

A place embellished in its own textures, aromas, music, language and beautiful landscapes. For a lifetime traveller all that remains are interrupted memories of a day enjoying the entertainment of Costa del Sol, Malaga.

Anyone have any ideas? All I can see is a scene, with hints here and there of object-ness. Not enough that I can figure it out, though. I'm feeling pretty stupid, I must say. Someone please tell me it's obvious, and then tell me what it is . . .

Oh yeah, it's due Friday. Blurgh.


Anonymous said...

Er, is yours a loom?


Niko said...

Sort of forgot about this. My object was a book. If you go through my old posts you can see it under "Medieval Book Project" or something. I'm too lazy to look it up.

The other person's object was a tacky plastic souvenir fan with a picture of a dancer on it. I almost guessed fan. But anyway, I got an A+ on my attempts to figure out the other person's item, and and A on my description, so I'm not unhappy.