To the casual onlooker it is a fairly ordinary looking chair.
It has a story though, like any object that has hung around for a while.
This ordinary looking chair sits in our hall and is rarely sat upon, but is a receptacle for coats and bags in passing through to the sitting room. I’ve cleared them off to take this photo. It isn’t sat on very often because it isn’t comfortable. While all the comfortable chairs have worn out, got saggy bottoms and broken arms, and stained covers and tears in the fabric, this one remains untouched by time. I know that it was probably made in the 50s or 60s. It sat in my mother-in-law’s house before ours. It didn’t get sat on there either, but was an occasional corner-of-the-dining-room chair. Extra visitors were given it, as they are here. Just Christmas then. It has had various covers, most of which still exist under this William Morris remnant. A triumph of style over substance. It is an imposter. It looks ok, but it isn’t. Even the cat won’t sit on it.
It has, in my head at least, the personality of a frosty Aunt. It looks respectable. It is undoubtedly middle class, middle aged and white. It doesn’t know how to relate to the rest of the family, doesn’t know what to do with itself. But we feel duty bound to keep it. The Last Chair.
But… I’m thinking that all of this might make it into something else. It might just become art. In my head, I think it already has. I have spoken to my husband about this, and I think he was fairly noncommittal about it being something else. I think, if I take it to the studio to do something to it, he might miss it. Just like the frosty Aunt, who, after her death, you realise was far more interesting than you thought… and you miss her.