Shelfie [creative writing]

There’s a riddle about a potato… I have eyes but cannot see.
My perspective of being in this show is muddied by this riddle. It’s hard to take a really good look at the work. And my potato-ness is also in question.

I am a compound noun of a thing. And have noticed new developments in this area. As potatobrush I am attuned to these things and developments of language that affect how I am discussed.
Housebarrassment is one of these compounds – an adjective – coined when we were all looking in at each others’ homes on zoom. I fix nailbarrassment, I suppose.

Last year, when I was still in retail and not yet art, I overheard a conversation about an ad for a jewellery designer. In this ad, the model’s nails were painted to look dirty. She was to be an at-work real-person with to-die-for dirt and gorgeous jewellery. We can all be tidied up for display.

It’s nearly opening time and my shelf is clean. I have no desire to be peered at but understand that this will relieve me from my prescribed purpose. It is unclear how I will, myself, be cleaned and preserved but I am aware that I no longer function as the cleaner and preserver of others. A status change perhaps and certainly a further remove from a potato.

I am not a working dog but a show dog.

Among us, when we were once a litter of potato-brushes gathered for sale, there was a smugness.
We could be dutiful. There were rumours of another type of non-potato, with sticky-out plastic
arms and legs, a hat and an impermanent tongue. It’s a relief to, at least, sit closer to the earth
than that.

A bathroom glass shelf with a nail brush which appears to look like a potato.


Text kindly written by Dr Zoë Mendelson.