“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” - Twyla Tharp
In March of 2020, the US Census Bureau closed all of its call and processing centers in response to the pandemic, which had a major impact on the data available for the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), a primary and often referenced source of credible data concerning how Americans use their time. The Bureau did reopen a few months later but at a diminished capacity thus the data for 2020 specifically isn't airtight but it suffices to say that the data that does exist confirms what we all already know. We are home way more than we used to be. Not a surprise to anyone. What might not be immediately obvious is the effect that spending so much time in an interior that was designed for evening use and leisure activities has on one's emotional wellness when that space is all at once, transitioned to the nexus of nearly every aspect of one's experience, now including financial, career, exercise, networking, business, and in many cases even spirituality and worship.
Of course, this article comes late to the game as there is no shortage of credible discussions about the effect of the pandemic on how we design our homes. What I don't see to any great extent, is the discussions of artwork specifically, within those spaces. This seems conspicuous in its absence as artwork is the paramount expression of our emotional health and outlook.
Art is a fundamental part of life, especially in your home. Most people spend the majority of their time at home. That was true even before the pandemic. The imagery that surrounds you has a direct impact on your mood, perspective, and outlook on the world. Art is a form of self-expression for everyone, not just the artist themselves. When you identify with a work of art, you present it in your space as an extension of yourself. It’s comforting to feel like your personality is exemplified on the walls of your home. Artistry is ever present in the world from movies to music to paintings.
Have you heard of Avant-Basic? If not, you may find it interesting that it's a design movement gaining a lot of momentum in response to the mid-century renaissance that's held our interest for over a decade. Why is this pertinent? It's about bold color, strong geometric statements, clashy elements, and above all expression. Rachel Davis discusses it in her article for Architectural Digest where she gives a wonderful overview of the trend.
A major part of a person’s identity is discovering what resonates with them
Art tells a story and helps us tap into our own emotional dialogue. Many of us are absorbed in technology and functionality in the modern world. Neglecting the importance of art is like restricting yourself from tapping into your true potential. When art is unique and abstract it breaks boundaries beyond decor alone. It creates the culture in your home and helps you feel understood. When you gain inspiration from the art in your home, you are able to face the day with strength.
Art encourages us to get out of our comfort zone and reimagine what’s possible in our life
When people decorate their homes with filler art from a store, it becomes another aspect of clutter. Art that is intentional and specifically chosen becomes a story of its own. Everyone has different designs that they are naturally drawn to, and oftentimes it’s hard to explain why we experience this attraction. It’s important to follow your intuition when a piece of art draws you in. Putting this in your home allows you to embrace your individuality each and every day. You begin to form a personal relationship with your art, and what it means to you.
People need art in their interiors not only for themselves but to complement their space. Art is the finishing touch that turns a house into a home. It’s also an amazing conversation starter when people come over to visit. Art is an essential piece of the puzzle that helps enhance our mood and create a lively space for us to reside and express our emotional health and outlook.