‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’
In these few, but often quoted words William Morris has encapsulated an entire approach to living.
Hello, I am Agnes Ashe and I try to live by this sentiment on a daily basis, bit of an uphill struggle, but you can but try.
Like many people I have found the immediate environment in which I live significantly influences my energy levels and how I feel about my everyday living and breathing. As a child I grew up in a house where all the walls were white. For some unknown reason to me my father didn’t like coloured walls and hated patterned wallpaper. When I was 18 years old I left home and the company I worked for arranged accommodation for their young employees with local landladies. The room I was assigned was very small and painted acid yellow. It was extremely bright yet claustrophobic and made you look ill. Fortunately, all the communal rooms in the house were covered in original artworks.
Watercolours and oil paintings, charcoal sketches and delicate pencil studies literally covered every inch of available wall space. Contemporary work was squeezed next to 19th and early 20th century pictures. I was fascinated and I loved it. It was the complete opposite to my childhood home. I didn’t live there long as I changed jobs and had to move back home for a while, but it had a lasting influence on my approach to my living space – as you can see. I also went on to study Art History, sadly giving up my research during the course of my PhD due to family circumstances.
Now I spend most of my time wrapped up in my business daily looking and re-looking at our visual environment, collecting images and reinterpreting them to capture shapes, colours, proportions and juxtapositions on to a silk scarf.