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Notes on Creation - Jennifer de Guzman

Latest thoughts on the creative life

Think of a City

Jennifer de Guzman

Think of a City by Jennifer de Guzman and Kate Brown. Full size here.

This breathtaking image is by Kate Brown, an artist whose praises I cannot sing enough, for the Think of a City project curated by the extraordinarily talented artist and architect Alison Sampson. Each work in the series of images is inspired by the previous one, all arising out the seed of an idea: Think of a City. A writer and an artist collaborate (though sometimes the writer and artist is the same person) on each image, unfolding a picture of a city -- or many cities -- that is also a portrait of the minds of its creators.

My city came to me long ago, a city on lockdown during a modern-day plague. I wrote about it years ago in a short story called "Interior Scenes." When Alison asked me to be part of Think of a City, I knew I wanted the piece I wrote to be inspired by that story. The previous image, by Addison Duke and Ryan Burton, showed an impish creature dumping some phosphorescent-looking mushrooms into -- what is that? Perhaps it connects with the turreted city in the background, clinging to a cliff over the sea. Perhaps those mushrooms would grow, and spread... and kill.

Who are our two quarantined people gazing at each other? The girl's name is Sascha. The boy's name is James. I don't know the name of James' cat. Sascha has a cat, too, but you can't see her.

The rest? I'll leave up to you.