My ideal house is a bower, a home and garden intertwined. This habitation would be a protective niche, made from living branches, and flowering vines, to provide a hideout and sanctuary within nature.
Once the shelter is made comes the secondary drive to decorate, personalising the habitation, by the collection and display of objects.
Here I see a parallel with Bower Birds and the art installations they create. Are these curated displays advertisements, lures, or traps ?
An animal instinct lies behind this desire to live embowered, this preverbal drive also leads one to collect objects. The objects are things we want to continue to study, due to rarity, beauty or strangeness of form.
These objects hold our attention, we want to keep looking at them, they hold a power over us.
Some are a perishable, transitory beauty that last only the day, others are permanent and collect more power the older they get, accumulating history and patina.
Some emanate powers through colour, rare colour attracts and pulls pull the eye with a magnetic force, or emanates outwards in mysterious wavelengths.
The displays are visual communications, stopping a passerby in their tracks, holding- possessing the eye. The eye travels to the part of the brain where instinct lives. The objects activate messages, the knowledge is preverbal, familiar, almost memory, the meaning is forgotten, lost, but a feeling remains.
We try to take meaning from the displays, are they a visual communication for us to decipher? Or do we project meaning onto them?
At the back of the head are the words “Is it safe?” Dare we cross the threshold into this personal space?
– Kerrie Hughes