Artwork of Spaces: Dishwashers & Ovens

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 hit with 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.

My Three Top Picks: UK Film Festivals 2018

The red carpets are calling…

If you’re anything close to a film buff then you’ll be more than aware that the Academy Awards are just around the corner.

Taking place at 12am this Monday 5th March; thousands will be tuning in to see the brightest of the Hollywood stars strut their stuff on the iconic red carpet and pick up their golden gongs. For those who are besotted with the lives of the A-Listers this is the kind of event that lights up social media feeds all over the world, but for more discerning film lovers it’s simply another PR hype machine created to boost the egos and line the pockets of a stratospheric elite.

Take a wild guess which kind of movie-fan I align myself with…

Hipster-cynicism aside, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wake up every morning after the Oscars to eagerly check the results, the iconic nature of the event brings still brings with it a breathless anticipation that (although short-lived) is infectious – as we discover which lucky few can henceforth refer to themselves as an ‘Academy Award winner’. With that being said there are a whole raft of equally distinguished awards that are given out every year by a number of judging panels and boards within our own borders.

I make a point of visiting a handful of different film festivals each year, which I’m happy to endorse as a much richer alternative to sitting at home in the middle of the night vacantly staring at hundreds of rich people slapping each other on the back. Oops. There goes that cynicism again. Before I slip into another rant, here are the five film festivals that are currently penned in my diary for 2018:

Manchester Film Festival – 1st-4th March 2018

Despite only being four years old this year the Manchester Film Festival has picked up real steam with a truly eclectic line-up of independent releases for voracious film lovers to get stuck into. Over 100 films will receive their UK and World premieres at the Festival this year including works featuring Nicholas Cage, Sean Penn, Jodie Foster, Faye Dunaway and Shia Labeouf. Access is incredibly affordable for punters like us with a 4 film pass costing only £17.50.

Puppet Animation Festival 24th March-14th April 2018

One of the older festivals on my list, this venerable event is marking it’s 35th year in 2018 and is a must for any parents who are looking to instil a love for puppets in their kids. Over 140 events take place all throughout Scotland across 30 venues and are aimed at kids aged 0-12. Theatre companies, animation groups and artists alike flock to Scotland during the festival to host workshops and help children create their own puppets, visual theatre and animated films: a must for any young budding film-makers.

Sheffield Doc/Fest 7th-12th June 2018

Featuring the very best documentaries from around the world, the Sheffield Doc/Fest is a great excuse to venture up North during the balmy summer months. For a few days in June the city will be taken over by film makers, producers and a whole host of all-round interesting folk making this a great time to get some networking done. Amongst the stellar lineup of docs you’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at a number of Augmented and Virtual Reality Experiences.

There are tonnes more great festivals scheduled for the rest of the year in and around the UK, don’t forget to support your local events!