MICHELLE FORSYTH



UPSTAIRS


Left: Excerpt from my mother's book; Right: Layout from my book.

Working on: Upstairs

Project in research/production phase, 2016-17

When I was young, I spent a lot of time looking at a home decorating book that belonged to my mother. It was a large coffee table type of book with pages that were filled with images of beautiful homes. Each colourful room, decorated with things arranged neatly by colour, provided me a place to escape when I desired relief from the tight confines of the boat we lived on. Over the years, I have thought a lot about that book, and I have since collected design magazines that promise me a similar escape. I collect them in numbers and place them in tall stacks throughout my home. I take pleasure in perusing their glossy pages. The spaces contained within them are chambers of possibility for me and I work to arrange my things to reflect them. The book I am talking about is called: The Decorating Book. It was produced in the 80’s and the photographs picture interiors with mirrored or glass surfaces and white shag carpets. The book itself is designed in a retro art deco look that was popular in the 80’s. Over the past year, I have been writing a memoir, but I have been designing the layout to mimic that book. Well, yes, it is a memoir, but, it is also a personal inventory of all of my things at the same time. It is a way for me to keep track. Much like my mother’s design book, mine is filled with interiors and objects. Unlike my mother’s book, my version contains line drawings rather than photographs.