Friday 27 December 2013

Artist's Book: Anxious Homes

Subtitled: Cursory-Cleaning for the imminent arrival of visitors, or 
How to Give the impression of a Clean House in under 20 minutes.

The book 190mm x 125mm, pink single-section sewn binding.
The cover is satin card backed with pink patterned paper.
It contains 18 pages on 130gm cartridge paper.
Produced in editions of 10 - First Edition produced in 2001

Anxious Homes, is the antidote to all the 'Life Instructions' that surround us. Far from being outraged
at the patronising tone of 'How to do it' books, I have always found them funny. This book provides a
step-by-step guide of how to appear like you're doing everything properly. It contains explanations in
detail of how-to-get-away-with-it. It is a manual for people with better things to worry about than housework.

There are sections on; anxiety and the home; nearly cleaning floors; the bathroom and kitchen; washing clothes; dealing with emergency visitors; and a chart of serenity and anxiety. Anxious Homes seeks to
take away the homemaker's feeling of inadequacy by promoting shortcuts as if they are perfectly normal.

Anxious Homes was inspired by my childhood experience. As a 10 year old, I remember being amazed
at how my mother used to frantically tidy the house before visitors arrived. When I asked her what was
wrong with letting our relatives see us how we usually lived, she was horrified at the idea.
When I started living in my own home I noticed I had inherited 'pretending to be tidy' from my mother.
When my parents (or especially parents-in-law) visit I rush round picking piles of papers off the floor and making sure the bathroom taps are shiny. Cleaning-up thoroughly is a long job and despite my collection of Good Housekeeping Manuals there's just not enough time to be the ideal woman, when you have good books to read, drawings to make and tea to drink.

Anxious Homes is essential for the busy woman.