At Home : An Anthropology of Domestic Space – I, Cieraad
I looked at the book At Home due to the fact it gave an interesting view of the home in general and what it stands for in our world today. I took out several quotes that I found thought provoking and that could give me a good starting point for my work
“Home is an active moment in both time and space in the creation of individual identity, social relations and collective meaning”
“Why do we cover our interior walls and windows?”
“Why is it that we seldom put a bed in the kitchen?”
“What do we express in our decorating and segregating in practices in the domestic space?”
“Home is the key site in the organisation of space”
I found the foreword in the book the most relevant as it looked at the home and interiors globally rather than focussing on individual phenomenons. It was written by John Rennie Short. Short focusses on how the human relates within a “home” setting and how it can change from person to person. He aims to question the reader as well as summarise his own thoughts and feelings surrounding this subject. Some of his questions highlight some of the ideas I would like to further explore within my artwork.
House and Home in Modern Japan- Sand, J
The next book I read focussed more on one cultural area rather than a broad span of homes in general. I decided to look at Japanese culture as it took me far away from what I know on a daily basis. It was this phrase that caught my eye in the text and encouraged me to explore further.
“Home was only one of the many spaces being imagined or reimagined for political purposes at the end of the 19th century – opening of ports to trade, influx of goods and ideas from the west and the establishment of the Meiji state – new space both abstract and concrete”
From here I looked up what the Meiji period was. The ruling of Emperor Meiji was the period in time that the Japanese refer to as the Meiji period. During this period, Japan was forced to open trade with the west, Japan was forced to sign unequal treaties. In consequence an influx of western ideas entered the country. Before rooms were simply decorated with little furniture, objects were kept in glass cabinets and boxes and the walls were free of paintings and prints. Due to the westernisation there was an introduction of objects such as clocks, lamps and umbrella stands and an introduction of tiled roofs.
Although this seems fairly one sided, Japanese culture did make its way back to Britain. Japanese designs were popular and a lot of stylised motifs were found in British Products. Liberty was one of the first to create using these motifs and to sell goods from the East. Liberty employed both Christopher Dresser and E.W. Godwin who both took interest in Japan and Japanese art within fashion and interiors.