27-June-2012 Still Life Activity
Book lovers live here. The kind who read multiple books at once and leave them open at pages of reference while they move to another book for a corresponding idea. There are two book shelves, one tall, pine but stained to look like kauri – that warm glowing look in a wood – the other ornate, two large wide shelves with curved arms holding it to the wall, wooden, unstained. Books are crammed on both. Atop the tall bookcase, are more books, piles of them, series of comics, novels, short stories, drama, poetry, art books, all organised by medium and in alphabetical order by author.
All along the floor, across the door with two large windows – which leads nowhere when opened but to a 3 metre drop – all across the door, leaning up against the book shelves, the walls, the couches, are more books without homes. They stagger under the weight of each other, some piles placed with the larger books at the bottom, but other piles are not so organised, ordered by what was read last.
There are two couches facing each other under the eaves of the sloping roof. Behind one, right in at the acute angle of the roof are boxes, loads of them, all piled up and crammed in. Behind the other is a painting in progress, still drying, leaning with the base in at the angle of the roof and the top leaning on the back of the couch. Beside the painting, still behind the couch, is a set of shelves with various shaped cocktail glasses and a cocktail making kit.
There are a half dozen cushions, some on the couches, some on the floor, as one inhabitant of this room has been working at the coffee table to make small white mushrooms out of a clay with wire attached. There are 50 odd little mushroom tops sat upon a black oven tray with the wire sticking up. A glue gun sits on the floor beside the table, hardened glue baubles litter a palette.
There is an old TV with gaming consoles but it is hidden by a large painting in progress, white, mottled, heavily textured. Behind it, between it and the TV, are another couple of canvases. In front is a small chest suitcase – unsuitable for carrying around, ornamental only – with its mouth wide, inside are piles of zines and chapbooks, 9 copies of Potroast.
The bed is made, covered in a cream, yellow and blue quilt, atop the bed is a large pile of clean washing ready to be folded and put away. The bedside tables both, have a stack of books, each with bookmarks sticking out of their pages.
There is a desk huddled in a dormer window, looking out on green and the paved driveway and garage doors of the house beyond. On the desk are more books, these ones are about typeface, handmade artist books, linguistics, a thesaurus, and a number of sketchbooks and exercise books. A wooden box with handle and clasp lies open, its lid against the wall, inside are a dozen pots of different coloured inks, and some flowers made with fabric, dyed with inks from gyotaku printmaking. There is a mug of paintbrushes, a box of buttons, one of beads, a sewing box closed with a laptop case atop it. Next to those is a tall set of transparent plastic drawers, inside are folds of varying coloured fabric. The top of the set of drawers is piled high with more fabric flowers, though these ones aren’t inked over, they are complete with badges and clasps to be sold. There are tubes of block printing ink, an empty can of coke, a spray bottle of water, an uneaten pear, pencils, a bundle of lace, a couple of bobby pins, a pencil sharpner, a USB drive, and two laptops – one a little netbook, the other a widescreen.
Beneath the desk is another, much bigger, set of transparent plastic drawers. Inside these – the first holds papers, and drawings, more exercise books, sketch books, Potroast submissions bound per issue, The second draw is full of paints and bottles of turpentine. The third is full of printmaking tools, cut and uncut lino, and a plastic bag pushed to the back full or more fabric.
On the floor is a toolbox full of pastels, pens, pencils, and other tools, atop of the tool box are two books by Kathy Acker and one by Dorothy Allison. Behind that is the TV. Beside it, huddled between the toolbox and the set of drawers, is a box easel folded up. On top are a number of books about printmaking, and a piece of glass and a brayer used for printmaking.
On the other side of the desk, between the sloping rafters, is a rail with clothes. Every inch of the rail is crammed with coat hangers, the clothes hang straight to the floor. Beneath them is a sewing machine, behind the sewing machine and half under the desk is a small table also covered in books. Between the legs of the table and the desk is a cutting board, and black ringbinder full of subscriber info for Potroast.
There is a pair of brown boots, their laces flayed, a dark purple handbag, its contents overflowing, and a ‘scrapbooking companion’. Beside the bed is a towel rack with varying coloured scarves hung over it in an orderly fashion. There is a chest of drawers, wide and low, two columns of three, atop it is a large mirror, reflected in it is the bed and the bookshelves and the door that goes nowhere. Ontop of the drawers is a lamp constructed from a ceramic bulldog, a fair few tubes and pots of creams, an oil burner, a wooden box, and a plant pot. In the plant pot is a leafy green plant with red edges to its leaves and a small diorama spirit house painting yellow on silts sticking out of the soil.
Beside the clothes hanging down is another set of drawers, the same 2 columns of 3 drawers, atop this set of drawers is a pile of clothes, a pile of boardgames, and an old style jug and bowl for water (unused and dusty). Between where these two sets of drawers is, is where the stairs head down to the lower level. There are two huge burgundy red curtains which hang down to enclose the room as there is no door before or after the stairs. At the top of the stair is a window that overlooks the stable where the large pink pigs live. There is a sideboard with a CD player. Every available surface is covered in CDs. Beneath the sideboard are boxes of CDs and DVDs. Beside the sideboard is a papermache, very colourful, cake stand. On top of it is another pile of CDs.
The wooden staircase leads down to the concrete floored shed with lawnmower and chest freezer. The roller door is open and the rain splashes down, spraying the inside.