Sunday, 7 November 2010

A few days ago I went to Manchester Art Gallery to look at the Collecting Section of the Gallery of Craft and Design, in which there are some of Mary Greg's items. Featured is one of her dollshouses and some small box room scenes.

One of my favourite items was the frog house, which is sort of like a small cabinet with two rooms imitating a gentleman's club. The stuffed frogs are playing cards and smoking cigars - it's an example of anthropomorphism, where the frogs have taken on human characteristics. I really like things like this, they're very whimsical, although I have a friend who is terrified of animals acting like humans. This could be a good opportunity to try this out with my birds.

There was one dollshouse on show and it fascinated me. It's beautifully quaint and you can just imagine somebody lovingly building and decorating it; making all the furniture and painting the walls etc. I'm fascinated by the idea of a 'home' and the fact that a dollshouse gives us peek into one. This sums it up really well:

A house, more than a diary, is the intimate glimpse.
A house is a life interrupted.
Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces, 1997

Also this, on the Manchester City Galleries website:
Home is at the very centre of our lives, it is the space we make our own.
Our houses speak volumes about who we are, our families and history, hopes and aspirations.
It is where we keep our most precious belongings, for both private and public display.
The idea of home can mean many things: shelter and safety or fear and imprisonment.
The dollshouse has been popular for centuries: played with by adults and children alike, it conjures up a whole private world in miniature.

Below is another one of Mary's houses, this time encased in a glass fronted box, inside a world of its own. This one prevents you from examining the inside, so we can only imagine.

I've noticed that Mary liked the world in minature, or at least these are the aspects that appeal most to me. I'm going to experiment with this, using my own dollshouse and some of the ideas here - What could there be inside it? Or whether you're actually able to see inside or not? Also capturing that feeling of opening one up.

1 comment:

  1. It would be nice to do this to a real house..put it in a box.