6/31 July Challenge

6/31 July Challenge

Let me recount for you how this Thursday got renamed to “Replace your eyeballs with mushrooms wrapped in twine” Day.

Yesterday I was feeling creepier than usual, so I started chatting with the only person creepier than me (aka, my love) about all the possibilities. I told him this idea I had for string to be going through my eye sockets and out the back of my head and thus attached to some sort of flying object (cloud, airplane, butterfly, etc.). We talked it through and after much discussion about logistics and physics, we decided the best way to go about the idea would be to fill the eyes but not lead through the skull.

This is already getting really weird, right?

I gave him the spiel about the idea, being the visual answer to the question of “who controls us?”. Who pulls the strings? I thought about naming it “He Who Pulls The Strings”. That got us talking about left brain vs. right brain, and the struggle to keep control over both parts of ourselves, or the many more that often result. Which then lead me to this picture, which I will not declare good or bad (though you can, if you want), but will say…WOW, what a journey to get there.

My day started at my usual 4am. I wandered outside looking for a nice little empty spot and found one quickly. I started shooting and had such grand plans. To be honest, the image ended up how I hoped. The video is a whole other thing. I wanted to create a stop motion edited like this image. That did not happen. Wait, let’s rewind.

That absolutely did happen, but it looked horrible. So, I decided to go for the simpler version, which is not what I wanted, nor do I love it, but here it is nonetheless. Because I keep my word and I have a challenge at stake.

The tough part about deeply conceptual images is that the more thought-provoking they are, the more difficult they are to pull off. To make a personal feeling universal is challenging for all of us. It also makes for a richer experience though, in my opinion.

Oh right, back to replace-your-eyeballs-with-mushrooms-wrapped-in-twine day.

While brainstorming last night about how to do this image, we thought that it would be best to put the twine in my mouth, so as to create natural shadows from an eye socket (see the video). I nearly gagged to my grave as I stuffed twine in my mouth this morning and photographed it. The look of it ended up being too loose for the image, so I had to redo it. That was when we started brainstorming what we could wrap twine around that would hold it shape and be the same color as the white of an eye.



Off to the grocery store I went to grab some cute little white button mushrooms (one of my favorite foods, anyway, however I will not eat the one that was wrapped in twine and stuffed into my husbands mouth…because I was done stuffing twine in my mouth by this point).

This image is creepy. Downright, whole-heartedly, completely creepy. And it is a picture of my face, which I don’t like doing. And I might get some “ew” comments or some “this isn’t your best” or maybe my favorite, long exclamation of, “whyyyyyyyyyy tho”. At the end of the day, and it is getting there, eh…I’ve had a day full of amazing memories.

I tried for 5 hours to do something that completely failed.

I created a concept I feel very connected to. 

I learned how to do better next time.

I stuck to my challenge.

I rocked that Victorian outfit, at 5am, with cars driving past to watch.

Today was the most perfect reminder to try EVERYTHING, to embrace your FAILURES, to see them as the most interesting specimen of observation so that next time you won’t fall down that same hole. Despite creating for 10 hours straight only to have 2/3 of what I wanted to do fail, today was flipping amazing.

P.S. Guess who’s having mushrooms for dinner tonight?

5 thoughts on “6/31 July Challenge

  1. This is fantastically very weird and I love the commitment to the concept! Can I just say the twine in your mouth was the icing on the cake! 😉 If weird offered an annual award, you got it (meant to be received as best compliment ever).

  2. I was actually surprised when I scrolled down to see this! The very first thing I thought was “Wow, that’s disturbing….” The second thing was “this is awesome!!!”. I don’t know how you could have pulled this off any better, it looks perfect to me! Putting the twine in your mouth to mimic the shadows was brilliant. Same with using the mushroom!
    You and your husband most click so well. Him working the problems with you, and coming up with solutions like this says it all! 🙂
    Now if you don’t mind, I am going to rip off this photo idea, because it is a reason to buy mushrooms! Yum!!!!

    I love the name “Replace your eyeballs with mushrooms wrapped in twine, Day”

  3. I love this! And I love that video too. It’s oneof the more inspiring things I have seen in quite a while. Thank you for sharing this journey and trying out new things!

  4. First of all, Brooke, I have to say that I am especially excited to check your blog since the beginning of July. Your July Challenge is very inspirational and unique. It is a pleasure to observe and feel connected. Even though I really liked some of the works you’ve publish in this challenge, I didn’t write a comment. I just prefer to be a silent observer. But now I have to write. I am so much inspired by this picture. It is so creepy and gives so many thoughts. When I saw it for the first time I just said – ‘Oh my gosh, the old creepy and lovely Brooke came back!’. I literally remember all your pictures back then when I first found your profile on flickr with death, ghost and creepy themes. I just think it is a very powerful work!

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