creative assignment: light

May 23rd, 2014

creative assignment: light

You guys have been hounding me for your next creative assignment. I love it! It means you are as excited about this as I am (now if I could stop being a week behind on everything). I have been thinking about this challenge for a while now. I had a different idea, one that was pretty good and I was sure I was going to go with it. Then I accidentally fell in love with an artist.

james turrell

1. Aten Rein at the Guggenheim 2. Stonescape 3. Apani, Ganzfeld 4. Stufe 5. Live Oak Friends Meeting House

I read this article about James Turrell in MIT Technology Now (it’s a tech magazine, yes I am a nerd). I felt this rush of excitement and awe just reading about his work. I spent the next 3 hours on the internet learning everything I could about him. James Turrell is an artist whose medium is light. Not that he paints the light, or lights his art in a particular way, he manipulates light itself. By using light in different ways, he affects our perception in a shockingly visceral way. It’s hard to describe how truly awesome Turrell’s work is (and I’m saying that having never even seen any firsthand). I could go on and on about the things he’s doing and has done, but I won’t.  If you have the time (6 min) do watch this video on PBS about his work.

creative assignment: light

What I’d like you to do for this assignment is manipulate light. At first I thought this assignment would be perfect for Instagram (and it really is) but then I started thinking about sewing light and what that would mean. Many quilters I admire have an amazing ability to manipulate light in their quilts. This is one of my favorite quilts: Isthmus by Leah Evans. But you don’t have to sew light. You can photograph, draw, compute, bake even. Just use light as your medium.

Can you do it? Can I? I have no idea what I’m going to do. It might be crap, but that’s okay. Whatever it is, it’s due Friday May 30. Use the hashtag:


Post a picture (or 10) on Instagram, on the Elsie Marley Facebook page, on your Facebook page, your blog. Whatever. The point of these exercises is to do a little something and then put it out there.  Ready? Okay, go!

Posted in creativity.

4 Responses to creative assignment: light

  1. dam says:

    That sounds awesome.
    I had to think about a project for the assignment all evening long.
    And then, I remembered that I saw two installations of James Turrell in a german museum: Centre for International Light Art Unna. It was fantastic. and

  2. the PBS piece won’t play outside of the US, but this video from the Guggenheim is viewable:
    Thanks for the inspiration Meg! I read Tech Review too.

  3. Kate Sbani says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! This is what I came up with:

    Also, my friend recently told me about an artist at the MFA Houston (where I just learned they also feature James Turrell’s work). It reminds me a little bit of him.

  4. […] The assignment was a little vague, and I don’t know if you liked it or not. Some more inspiration probably would have helped. But maybe you liked the first assignment better? Maybe you want something super specific?  I don’t know! I’m making this up as I go along. So tell me what you want, or tell me your ideas for new assignments or tell me what you had for breakfast. […]