Thursday, 12 March 2009

House Tour with Ricky Pound

The Tour of the Chiswick Villa was very interesting, and worthwhile however, not all the information was incredibly relevant to us but certain points stood out for me which i would like to list here. we started off the tour with the downstairs of the villa which was a complete opposite to the upper level. downstairs was all marble and cold stone floors, with cream walls, very minimalistic and almost like a modern day villa. downstairs so original statues from the gardens were displayed, such as a bust of Napoleon, a sphinx and even a water nymph preparing for her bath (which made Rosie squeal out loud!!). it was in this lower half of the house that the first interesting thing occurred to me, this was the myth of the Sphinx, a creature from Greek myth (not Egyptian which was interesting) which guarded the city of Thebes (in Egypt..) and would propose a riddle to anyone who tried to pass. if the riddle was not answered correctly she would strangle the person until they were dead. one day Oedipus cam to Thebes, the Sphinx told him a riddle; "what animal is that which in the morning goes on four feet, at noon on two and in the evening upon 3? Oedipus replied, man who, in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in manhood walks erect and in old age with he aid of a staff. the Sphinx was so angered that she threw herself off a cliff to her death. i found this very interesting and maybe we could make it part of the quest, to get by onto the next stage you need to complete a riddle from the sphinx?
the next interesting thing to me was discussed upstairs. there were three coloured velvet rooms in the house, a blue one, a red one and a green. this was originally thought to be because of red and green being a good colour to hold art, however, it was later discovered that it had more to do with the four elements, earth, fire, water and air. in the green velvet room on the fire place there were carvings of the green man- the pagan god of vegetation and also the sun, and therefore could be described as the earth and fire segment of the house. in the blue Velvet room there were many carvings of shells on the ceiling, and on painting frames. the shell is the symbol of the goddess Venus and links this room to water. the last remaining velvet room, the red velvet room was linked to air, through the paintings and carvings of the zodiac. this idea of the four elements could become a major influencing factor in our production and could lead us to interesting avenues for this project!

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