We rarely choose to see the winning pieces of artworks that are right in front of our eyes.
Have you ever stopped to consider the meaning that is inherent in the spaces that you live in?
It can be easy to take your environment for granted. Consider how many cumulative hours you might spend in your living room or your kitchen, for example. These spaces are filled with the kind of idiosyncratic details that a regular user of the space would simply not notice. Think of the physical space of the floor, how the carpets are met by the skirting board, perhaps your ceiling has been textured or your furniture doesn’t quite match. These small details and the stories behind them colour your experience of these used spaces – without them, they become uniform and clinical.
Recently I’ve been trying to decode the spaces that I live in: deciphering how they relate to my state of mind and being, whilst attempting to maintain an air of objectivity – it’s proving to be harder than expected.
Unfortunately, as a young writer living on a low income, I’ve become accustomed to living without a few luxuries and by ‘luxuries’ I actually mean 21st Century basics such as: a fridge, microwave, toaster, shower, WiFi. When I was stuck with my Lamona oven not heating up last year, I had to return to the sobering reality of cooking using my other oven – I was not best pleased, however it did give me a good opportunity to ponder on the significance of kitchen spaces, as well as the cultural importance of how we live in these spaces.
In the following photos, pilfered from various sources from around the internet, I’m going to attempt understanding how they came to be and what they mean in their wider context:
Much can be said about a clean cut Scandinavian style – it evokes a sense of calm and peace, but also sterility. As comforting as it might be to live in a white world such as this, what would this space really say about the owner? Look a little closer and besides the stark brutality of the space, you will notice flourishes of pretension and bravado. A mismatched seating arrangement suggests a fractured sense of style, whilst a fur draped over an awkward looking wicker chair feels painfully misjudged.
This kitchen desperately wants to appear normal, but it’s nascent absurdness is undercut by its bizarre design choices. Firstly, it’s rare that kitchens ever feel this empty or hollow. A kitchen is a functional space, yet the gleaming surfaces and empty worktops suggest that nothing has functioned here or ever will. The step-like arrangement of steel pots draw the eye to the left hand side, but one expects they are empty, this then leads us to examine the sink. Set at an awkward angle, it’s presence feels unjustified and jarring.
There’s a sense of history and culture in this hallway that communicates more than any of the other rooms. Tessellation is the key here. Triangles interlock in the model pine cones, as well as the rug on the floor and the wooden carved bowl. This uniformity serves as a counterpoint to the organic curvature of the wooden doors and dresser – as well as the touches of humanity on the wall. An old photograph: chemicals refracting light from a forgotten time sit alongside meticulous drawings and looser sketches. As a hallway this should be simply be a passage to other rooms, but with this adornment it is something more.