I spent yesterday roaming around the city, which is hosting the International Design Show this weekend....I also walked along Dundas, and popped into all of the shows that I had been wanting to see. Contemporary, new interior design and concepts at every turn, and it had been a pretty overstimulating day.
Save for a few inspired pieces that I encountered on my travels, I felt that a lot of these objects were missing a bit of soul and authenticity....I am usually fully captivated by a piece when I know a bit about the maker. A story about the maker, their history, the intent, the exploration....makes it all that more meaningful to me.
When I lived in Liberty village, my friend and neighbour needed help moving some things around. One of them was a traditional looking piece, a side board/hutch of sorts, that he looked at and said, "Do you want that thing? I hate it, please if you like it, take it". It didn't really fit in with a contemporary townhouse, I suppose, but his father had made the whole thing for him, by hand, in his home workshop. I was shocked that he didn't want to keep it, and gladly took it on as a piece of studio furniture....I was reminded of this story by the piece in the film, it looks very similar.
Irish Folk Furniture is an amazing short film which just took the prize at the Sundance film festival...shot and directed by Tony Donoghue, in the village he grew up in.
Donoghue had been amazed by a story of a family friend, who had sold her family business, a pub and with it had disappeared a piece of furniture over 150 years old, thrown out by the new owners.
Purposeful in design, but not always treasured by their owners, many of these furniture pieces were disposed of because their owners see them as symbols of poverty, and not as family heirlooms or a legacy.
A carpenter in the village has set out to help fix some of these traditional pieces, and after the film screened, apparently many of the farmers have been bringing their furniture to him to repair....love this film!