Today I rose at 7.00am after around 4 hours sleep, and drove to Glasgow to take Will to a Gaelic drama event. We then went to buy a car (always one of my least favourite activities) as the long Argyll roads are taking their toll on our current one. Later we watched William’s play, then (another of my least favourite activities) went to the dreaded IKEA to buy bedroom furniture.
Apart from being a very expensive day, it was also an exhausting one.
However, in the middle of all this, Michaela and I had a a couple of hours to kill in the middle of Glasgow, so we took the time to visit this place, which M had been wanting to go to for years. She is a lover of the interior designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and was in her element. The house was not actually built by Mackintosh, but was finished only around 10 years ago, to designs that Mackintosh entered in to a competition.
There is even a piano incorporated into his design- which I sat playing for a while, until I realised that I had attracted an audience.
The spaces that Mackintosh designed has been faithfully created without the need to pander to the domestic requirements of real live clients (unlike the other CRM house that has been preserved intact, the Hill House.) He wanted no ‘art’ on the walls, no clutter on the mantelpieces- in fact, he designed the fireplaces deliberately without any kind of shelving. He wanted the house itself to be the art to be loved. If you wanted other kinds of art, then it should be tidied away afterwards into cupboards.
I am not sure how I feel about this place. The spaces are undeniably lovely. The light falls through the illuminated panes, and finds all those lovely organic shapes. But there is an esoteric exclusivity about it too. Like lots of the art that we inherit, it depends on the excessive wealth of the minority who could afford to indulge their own interests and tastes. What do you do if you have more than you could ever want or need, several times over- after you have done a bit of philanthropic giving to assuage the conscience?
You commission some art of course.
I am being unfair I think, as without these people lots of art that moves millions would never have come into existence.
And I like to think that my house too is for art lovers (note the plural) but let’s not lock it away. Let it be the oil between us.
Still, after all it is lovely and if Michaela likes it that is good enough for me…