HANNAH ENKEL'S 'THE WORLDS TOTE'
You’ve played with the idea of an ‘inspirational quote’ for this edition. Tell me more.
I created an anti-inspirational tote to give a utilitarian object the weight of a world. Inspirational quotes are deeply entrenched in pop-visual culture - we see them everyday on Instagram, t-shirts, mugs, etc. They can sometimes be anxiety inducing, or triggering, like, ‘why can’t I get to the place of being productive, strong, and be a carefree person that these quotes so simply demand of me?’
Tote bags are with us to run mundane errands, to fill up with things written on our everyday lists. With depression, these tasks can feel insurmountable. Suddenly a grocery list, added to a list of bills and a trip to the pharmacy can feel like too much. Making lists is one way I cope with that feeling. I make lists of things I am not doing that I should be, I make lists of my flaws, mistakes I’ve made…I make lists of all of the ways I impact the destruction of the planet earth. These considerations become an entire world when they are my focus. I cross them off to simultaneously accept and reject their power.
How did you create the bag?
I dip dyed the bags so that the majority would be an ink field resembling a consuming, inky ocean. The text is silk screened onto the bag using a colour that matches the deep hue. I wanted a tone-on-tone look. The poem is a piece of writing that combines small tasks, big goals, my body, my environment, and my responsibilities.
Why did you use the format of a list for this poem?
Lists can be so helpful. They are practical and help you make sure you get everything you need done. I also feel they are very cathartic. I always feel relieved to cross off a task.