MICHELLE FORSYTH



 

UPSTAIRS:STORIES FROM A LIVE/WORK SPACE

I have been writing Upstairs: Stories from a Live/Work Space for three years now and have accumulated approximately 60,000 words, which make up the first four chapters of the book. The plot traces the movements of an unnamed protagonist—an artist in her mid 40s—as she prepares her home for a party to celebrate a one-year anniversary after receiving a deep brain stimulator implant to help control Parkinson’s tremors. As the narrative develops, the reader is invited into the intimate world of the protagonist as she describes her changing relationship with the objects and the spaces of her home. The belongings featured in the narrative trigger memories of relationships, both past and present.

The narrative will be laid out to resemble a coffee table book that once beloged to my mother. It was a large coffee table book with pages 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 then. Over the years, I have thought a lot about that book, and I have since collected design magazines that promise me a similar type of 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 eighties and the photographs picture interiors with mirrored walls, glass furniture, and beds covered in sheepskin. The design of the book is based on a retro Art Deco look that was popular in the 80’s, when it was published. My version will be accompanied by line drawings of all of my personal belngings in the form of an appendix.

Below is the first in a series of animations based loosely on the text and images from the book.

Everyday Objects (Chapter 1: The Bedroom)
Animation (duration: 20 minutes)
Designed for a 24 inch screen. Please do not view on a cell phone.