Living In A Material World III:
2001 Navigating the Material World

Held at the University of Brighton
25 - 27 June 200, in association with Coventry University

"Make voyages! Attempt them ... there's nothing else" Tennessee Williams


Living In A Material World III:
Link to Website

Living In A Material World III: Image of the catalogue


Abstract for Anxious Homes paper


Anxious Homes paper presentation


Anxious Homes - The book


Pink as a Soft Idea exhibition and catalogue.
North Gallery, University of Brighton, June 2001

Abstract for Anxious Homes paper

Wednesday 27th June 09.30 - 10.35 Keynote IV
10.35 - 11.00 Coffee
11.00 - 12.35 Strands
12.35 - 13.45 Lunchtime
13.45 - 14.50 Keynote V
14.50 - 15.30 Tea & Conclusions

Strand B

Jackie Batey, University of Portsmouth and University of Brighton

Anxious Homes; Cursory-Cleaning for the imminent arrival of visitors,
or how to give the impression of a clean house in under 20 minutes.

Presentation of the inspiration, planning and production of this limited edition, humorous, artist's book.
Anxious Homes was created as an antidote to all the "Life Instructions" that crowd our lives. By "life instructions" I am focussing on how-to-do-it skills that we are generally lacking, when we leave school. Adult chores such as housework, healthy living, DIY, etiquette and how to amuse yourself on a rainy day are thrown in our path on the way to becoming a responsible and competent grown-ups. My interest focuses on books and magazine tearsheets from the 1940s through to the 1960s, I have a particular fondness for cigarette advertising, homemaking journals and etiquette instructions both US and UK. The passing of time can make us see clearer, when looking back at the attitudes and assumed aspirations of the intended consumer leading to a sense of where we have come from. It is also easier to see the pressures that are loaded upon the individual, Is your home tidy? Can you cook? Can you fix a broken fence? Can you eat an orange without making a mess of yourself? The implication is that the reader is generally quite useless and unable to cope in the modern world. I find the tone of how-to-do-it instructions can be very funny when taken out of context. Using satire to tackle the concept of appropriate behaviour is something I am exploring within my own work.

Anxious Homes aims to fill a gap in the marketplace. It is the guide book for people who have no time or inclination to do things properly, the guide we all need when hurriedly cleaning the house when guests are due. This guide seeks to reassure us all that we are not alone in being "a bit rubbish at things". It attempts to explode the myth that once adulthood is reached an inherent ability to put up shelves suddenly reveals itself.