Girl/Whale

A piece inspired by the poem Measure, by Sandra Lim. The poem encourages girls to rebel against daintiness and embody the hugeness of the whale. In turn the whale is to be "as tremendous as girls."

I created this sophisticated version of a thaumatrope to allow Girl and Whale to merge, each seeking power from the other. The viewer is encouraged to interact with the piece by twirling the stick below the water's surface. Due to the persistence of vision, the two figures will merge into one, animating before your eyes.

Wood, paper clay, foam, acrylic

Measure

Girls

      For the lowing of whales

has conjured them up     given them savage details,

cut off their braids.     Seahorses ride their eyes

out. I am one of those     with a dimple in the mind.

A gleam in the foam     astral, tonight. Don't ruin

them with--     don't wake them, the warm

anemones deflate it.     Failing sun, go after

sand, all thousand bits.     Ocean me, be larger than

promise. Eased into skirt.     Talk not of mermaids.

Whales

               The vaulting green and drift

of that day     white distances opened, run high.

Blue proceeds     --like bones, like time-- to

its designated junctures,     tremendous as girls.