Image: Julie Paterson, 'Occasional Table' (Detail) 2021, Found table, house paint and printed linen, 35 x 35 x 75cm
Back in the day, Australian families aspired to have a room called the parlour - a public space where friends and neighbours might visit at home for cups of tea or games or music - and always, conversation. It’s an old fashioned notion that somehow feels contemporary again as we rediscover the simple pleasures of our domestic spaces. Starting from the samples of upholstery fabrics inspired by the Meroogal interiors I made for my entry in the Meroogal Art Prize, I am decorating an imaginary parlour that answers the question, ‘What would the Meroogal Sisters have made?’
I’m thinking of rustic practical ceramics, decorated furniture, embroidered napkins, patchworked curtains. They’d have mended their worn out cushions and clothes. They’d have bought nothing new, and instead invested time and care into making their parlour a comfortable place to connect. And the most musical of them would have played the piano for a jolly good singalong.