My house is ugly. I never thought so before, in fact was proud of it. Would bring guests on a tour of its wonky walls and three hundred year old stonework, show off the local historic sites and let them marvel at the bargain rent that I can just about afford. Never really minded the broken taps and leaking heat. Put up with its place in the shadow of the sun.
Fifty days inside brings new complaints. Tacky prints of the Eiffel Tower hung on coat hooks. 80s-style carpet laid askew. Stained magnolia walls and the yellowed whites of the upholstery. These aesthetic choices have been made without me but I’m contractually obliged to maintain them. Can’t colour the walls, can’t drill into them. Those shabby plastic flowers are protected in the inventory.
So I make interventions- provisional, personal, and economically expedient. Top up potted plants and Ikea furniture. Introduce artworks from my own collection. It’s a disaster though, this clash of styles. Comes off careless and lack-lustre. Consumes me now that I have nothing else to look at. Stay at home, am told, but how much of this house is my home, exactly, and how much of it is someone else’s asset?
About the Artist
Kerry Guinan is an artist, researcher, and curator based in Limerick. Recent projects include a residency in Bill Drummond’s Curfew Tower in Antrim (2019), the curation of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts: TACTICAL MAGIC (2019), and the solo exhibition ‘Our Celestial Sphere’ at Pallas Projects/Studios (2019).
Guinan’s work has long explored the relationship between property and aesthetics. She is the author of ‘The Impact and Instrumentalisation of Art in the Dublin Property Market,’ a monograph published in 2017. Her work has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Next Generation Award (2018) and Fingal Arts Office (2019, 2018, 2016, 2014). Guinan is currently undertaking a Masters of Arts to develop the practice of ‘relational socialist realism’ at the Limerick School of Art & Design, Ireland (2021)