I began my research by looking in to the idea of nesting and decorating and why we do it. I found multiple articles about home decorating and why people do it. One article that I looked at from the Globe and Mail website was titled ‘Obsessed with home decor? You may have self-image problems’ Throughout this article we are introduced to a woman called Brandon who says she is a decor addict. One quote in this article stuck out to me, ‘For women like Brandon, the home is an extension of the self. Like body image, it has become a measuring stick for their successes and failings – and a full-blown obsession for North American women.’ This interested me because it links in with what I want to show in my work that the rooms we inhabit and the way we decorate them is personal to us but is for show so other people see what we want them to see. This continues on with the ideas that people will inject parts of their personality in to the rooms they live in and will alter the environment to make it a space they want to spend time in and are proud to be in and show off to other people.
I then found the website of Toby Yull, she works in interior design and in one of her google articles says ‘I’ve come to feel that decorating our homes is first of all an act of creation, and an important one. It’s our attempt to bring a sense of order to our lives in the midst of the obvious chaos of the world; our little effort to tame at least that part of the picture over which we do have control.’ This again links in to my ideas about decorating and filling our homes with what we want to show to other people and with things that mean things to us and that are an extension of our personalities.
There are many books, websites and articles that teach people to decorate in certain ways whether this is cost effective and family friendly or entirely to show off. One example of this is ‘A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home.‘ By Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. This book has ideas, price lists and step by step instructions to make things for your home and to give hints and tips of what to do in the home to make it cosy and presentable to others. This book is very much showing the perfect ideals of life and what everyone wishes their home could be like, but this is not the case in a busy family home. One book that does talk about decorating in a busy home is The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have To Be perfect To Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith. In this book she talks about how to decorate for real people who have busy lives but still want to make their home presentable and accepted.
Another book I looked at is To Each His Home: Inspired Interiors As Unique As Their Owners by photographer Bilyana Dimitrova. When writing about this book she says that ‘Most of us would agree that, for better or worse, our houses speak for us. They are like a second face we present to the world. But when does a house become your home? It is the moment your house begins speaking to you–in an ongoing conversation propelled by the acquiring, arranging, and rearranging of objects to express your personality in the spaces that you inhabit’ This book shows photographs of the peoples houses and environments and the way they have altered them and made them their own. These are accompanied by an interview that she does with the home owner about the way they have decorated. This is something that I am thinking of doing to accompany my work as I feel then the audience can make their own decisions but also have the actual reasons why accompanying the image as well.
Another photographer that I looked at was Rebecca Gallagher and the project Personal Objects. She explains this project as follows ‘Personal Objects is a photo series, produced as a book, showing young adults with their most important objects. Next to each photograph is a handwritten note by them, giving some more detail about the object. The handwriting is not always legible which just adds to the personal touch of the project.’ Here are some examples of her work.
This is one way that I could view my project by getting people to decide what they want me to photograph and then say why, but I think it will be more interesting to take photographs of a variety of things in the home and then let the audience judge the people and what they are including in their homes. Therefor linking back to the articles that I have read and showing the way that people are now judged by the appearance of their homes as well as their personal appearance.
The next photographer I looked at was Beatriz Ruibal and the project Mother 2010-2012. This is a project based around memory and loss and nostalgia. These photos are all taken after her mothers death and show her personal objects. These are only some of her objects so Ruibal has decided what to include and what not to include. This project is in a way a therapy and is the process of letting go and moving on without someone you love. I would like to replicate the cleanness of these photographs and the way that they are focusing on one or two main objects in the frame and everything else blurs out and is unimportant. Here are some examples of the work.
The next work I looked at was by Camilla Catrambone the project is called Family Portraits. These again are focused around the objects not the people. This body of work aims to show the people, what they are like and what they own through the use of their objects, this gives us hints at their personality. From viewing this work I know I want to keep the objects in their environments and take hotogrpahs of them where they have been placed rather than rearrange them like in this work. Here are some examples of her work.
From this research I have informed my decisions further and I know know what I want to do in more detail and that I want to choose what I photograph and I want to leave it in the setting that it has been placed in.