Published at Monday, 12 August 2019. Decoration. By Marie Williams.
The geometric designs and heavy lines seem to be adapted from the area’s textile and weaving patterns. “In contrast with the sobriety of architecture and decoration in the rest of Arabia, exuberant color and ornamentation characterize those of Asir. The painting extends into the house over the walls and doors, up the staircases, and onto the furniture itself. When a house is being painted, women from the community help each other finish the job. The building then displays their shared taste and knowledge. Mothers pass these on to their daughters. This artwork is based on a geometry of straight lines and suggests the patterns common to textile weaving, with solid bands of different colors. Certain motifs reappear, such as the triangular mihrab or niche and the palmette. In the past, paint was produced from mineral and vegetable pigments. Cloves and alfalfa yielded green. Blue came from the indigo plant. Red came from pomegranates and a certain mud. Paintbrushes were created from the tough hair found in a goats tail. Today, however, women use modern manufactured paint to create new looks, which have become an indicator of social and economic change.”
The move toward decoration as a separate artistic profession unrelated to the manufacturers and retailers received an impetus with the 1899 formation of the Institute of British Decorators; with John Dibblee Crace as its president, it represented almost 200 decorators around the country. By 1915, the London Directory listed 127 individuals trading as interior decorators, of which 10 were women. Rhoda and Agnes Garrett were the first women to train professionally as home decorators in 1874. The importance of their work on design was regarded at the time as on a par with that of William Morris. In 1876, their work - Suggestions for House Decoration in Painting, Woodwork and Furniture - spread their ideas on artistic interior design to a wide middle-class audience.
Interior design is the art and science of understanding peoples behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with decorative elements, sometimes complemented by advice and practical assistance. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
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