Lizamore, Fairland Gallery, 3 Hetty Avenue, Fairland, Johannesburg
Home… Not house, place, or space, but home. Something that moves beyond walls and a roof or a place of shelter. That theoretical line that changes a house into a home. The cold box into a sanctuary.
It is an inherent human condition to seek comfort, to turn a cold space into a place of warmth. It has been argued that early evidence of this condition, the need for comfort, is the creation and use of objects that could be construed of as rugs. Rugs have shifted and changed throughout history but this historic object, whether an animal pelt or a contemporary carpet, still manages to hold an important role in our homes. Its function brings comfort, whether actual or perceived, and is, I argue, a perfect object to signify this theoretical line that changes a house into a home.
For an object so ordinary and commonplace carpets and rugs come with a multitude of hidden value. Outside of the functionality of the carpet, whether it be a space to clean or dry one’s feet, or an important role in a cultural and religious ceremonies, rugs have been transformed into both art and décor through the invention of hand weaving and dyes that allowed for elaborate designs and patterns. And with the colour and pattern it also became a signifier of wealth as well as an expression of personal taste.
This work explores space and place using carpets/mats as signifiers. They underlie the mood and feeling for a room, an emotional and behavioural bubble. Creating a personalised touch in the process of making places one’s own. They’re a backdrop for the action that happens within a space and therefore hold so much history and communication about the lives within. Whether used for function or statement they age; fade, hold dust and dirt, absorb spills, take on impressions from furniture, they rip, scuff and mark from experiences lived across them; they hold memories in the way they’re blemished. The effects of meaningful actions are seen on them and in this way become representative of our feelings and memories about a space.