Things Girls Like to Do
This project was inspired by finding a piece of sheet music titled “Bed Making Song” from the 1916 book, “Easy Steps in Housekeeping or Mary Frances’ Adventures Among the Doll People” – part of a prescriptive series of books for children that taught them about housekeeping – The author states "...the three arts which have most to do with three great needs of life – food, clothing and shelter.”
Other historical and contemporary texts - some instructive, some personal memories, some news worthy, come together to create the layered bed coverings that make up this children’s housework bed.
Because women have always been associated with the home, hearth and all the domestic duties that belong to them, this project is about memories and moments that are attached to specific objects within our homes − specifically beds. Historically our life cycle begins and ends in the bed. It used to be that all of our life cycles (birth, sickness, death) occurred in our beds, in the family home. In the second half of the 20th century so much of our lives have been taken out of the home and moved to places where we become handled by specialists i.e. the hospital bed or any other specialized institution.
It is because of these domestic associations, that in order to read these intimate stories the reader must unmake each bed, pulling back the covers to “turn the pages.” In order to close the book, one must re-make the bed, mimicking the actions of women’s housework that have been done for centuries.
More about this ongoing bed project - and all the text and specs for this bed can be found on my web page.
rest, emotion, artist books, embroidery, needlework, fabric, antique, vintage, sculpture, stories, women's work, sewing, child, girl, music, cotton, wood, wood, bed sheet, blanket, personal story, recycle, mattress, bed ticking, personal story, history, her-story, sleep, digital printing, sleeping, housework, housekeeping, digital image photography, vintage photograph