As promised MANY MANY months ago, I have finally started working on my CIBA Archive for the fashion design/art history/textile design/history of fashion/history student everywhere. I don’t have every single one of the volumes, so I am starting with Volume 3, which is the first one in my collection. It’s all about the wall. From ancient hanging, tapestries in castles, and murals, to the invention and politics of wall paper, this volume covers quite a bit!
How many of us actually pay attention to the walls around us? We see them everyday, but they are often dismissed quickly. What color are they? Do they have photos, or paintings, or posters on them? Painted or wallpapered?
I remember how important my walls were growing up. At my mom’s house, when I was very young, I had pink wallpaper, with unicorns frolicking among castles. At my dad’s house, my stepmother spent countless hours to give me an ocean themed bedroom, complete with a gorgeous hand painted mural of fish.
When I grew up and went to big, bad Jr. High school, I moved up to the attic bedroom in both houses. At my mom’s house, we painted the walls white, and I would sketch out huge murals in charcoal, scribble notes on my wall in brightly colored markers, and for some reason glued a deck of cards on the wall. At my dad’s I taped the back artwork from all of my CD’s to the wall, and since I owned quite a few CD’s (this was back before iPods), I managed to cover half of one wall.
Then I went to boarding school, where I duct taped a 10ft. x 7ft. movie poster for “The Lord of the Rings” to my ceiling, and painted a Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings themed mural on the wall.
Now as an “adult”, I have key lime pie colored walls, with eye popping pink, aqua and yellow detailing.
Why does this matter? Through out history, the wall has been used to represent something. It breaks up space into rooms. It’s used to display family history, or achievements. It can be turned into a focal point with a piece of artwork, or to set the mood of a room. For being so versatile, in modern times, the wall is often taken for granted.
So the next time you walk into a room, look around you. Before you sit down in front of the TV tonight, just take a second. Look at your walls. Because for the next few weeks, I will be covering them in the CIBA Sunday Reviews!
Figuratively, of course. I’m not going to break into your houses to paste pages from the articles on your walls. That would take entirely too long! 🙂
Next week’s article review: “The History of Mural Hangings”, by Grete de Francisco.