The title of my CRP was ‘Dwelling on the Threshold’ – I am interested in the thresholds between and betwixt things and the liminal spaces this occupies. This has extended to the interest of architectural and interior space that we dwell, capturing film-still like photographs of interior space, exploring familiar spaces as other or unfamiliar. Kirsty Bell (2013) in The Artists House begins to articulate the interior of the house as a liminal space between ‘outsides’, “The inhabitant who is depicted from behind, looking out of the window, seems neither here nor there”, placing the inhabitant in a liminal, in-between, indeterminate space/place.
Liminal condition can be described as a place where we are open to anything; where we leave the “ordinary” and allow something else to occur. The transition can be described as passing a threshold or breaking through a membrane.
This has led me to the relation of Heterotopia’s. A space that is other, such as the reflection of the self in a mirror. These concepts relate to the research of Martin Heidegger and the notion of Being. Being in the world, presence and existence. The reflection of the viewer, situating them in the world. Research into refection led to artists such as Dan Graham and Rob Ward and their sculptural installation-based works using mirrors. Their work is interested in being inhabited and activated by the presence of the viewer through reflection and interaction. Described by Graham as “instruments of reflection – visual and cognitive – highlight[ing] the voyeuristic elements” becoming psychological strongholds, markers of social change and prisms through which we view others and ourselves. The works incorporate the viewer and landscape into its composition, creating a phenomenological awareness of being and self.
Within my practise the increase of scale and contrast of transparent, opaque, matt and reflective surfaces resonate with these concepts. The vertical format affirms the vertical orientation of the viewer. By reflecting the surroundings and the self this situates the viewer in a heterotopia. Asserting their physical orientation and placement in reality but also reflecting an ‘otherness’ world within the reflection of the painting.
The domestic interior is a cultural reflection, reflecting the identity of the dweller. Interior space plays with the notions and thresholds of inside/ outside and the physical thresholds in which we dwell. The notions of change, transition and flux are addressed in my current reading on the Domestic Interiors (Downey, 2013). It unpicks, like the movement throughout a house via a corridor with a room by room approach, the rooms which have developed, evolved and shaped the way we construct and dwell in domestic interior. The text places the notions of home, house, space and architecture as being on the threshold of change. Interiority is subject to cultural, colonial change and hierarchical flux, this is evident in modernity as liberation from morals and values, resulting in the evolution and modernisation of interiors. This is reflected in some of the best known literary interiors such as Howard’s End, the Ramsey’s house in To the Lighthouse and the houses of Edith Wharton, while addressing the “pervasive sense of modern psychological interiority” (Downey, 2013). Rice (2004) considered the dual nature of interior, the four walls providing a physical shelter as well as an “internal entirely conceptual world”. An inner private sanctum of the self, contemplation and reverie.