My Art Assignment #2 – Sorted Books

In 2014, Sarah Urist Green and John Green created The Art Assignment to explore art and art history. The channel initially featured established and emerging artists who created art assignments for anyone to complete as a path to understanding their art practice. The site expanded to explore art through a variety of different forms but it is the Art Assignments that inspire me to dig into my tool boxes and make something.

My next art assignment is to:

  1. Choose a person I know or would like to know better.
  2. Take a look at/through their library
  3. Make 3 stacks of books to develop a portrait of the person.

Set by artist Nina Katchadourian I modified my response to a self-portrait as we’re currently following strict social distancing protocols to reduce the impact of the COVID:19 pandemic.

My personal library is quite small in keeping with our minimalistic lifestyle but I found the volumes I’ve kept all speak to directly to my life story and philosophy. This first photo is a complete self-portrait in one stack of books, and I like the concise encapsulation of how I see myself today.


But the assignment is to create three stacks, the three constants in adult life are the Royal Australian Air Force, motorcycles and travel. The common thread running through these three elements is my family who to varying degrees inherited my love of them. So created the following three stacks of books.

I did not expect the first two art assignments to be so introspective but I’m enjoying the self-discovery.