Captivating, intriguing and arousing.
Three adjectives I like to summon when considering what decorative artifacts to bring to bear in my interior designs.
My three examples for this blog are a wooden sculpture of a soldier from Madagascar, a series of Amazonian pots from the Brazilian island of Marajó and a miniature panther from the Qin dynasty of China.
The soldier stands proud on a metal base on a side table by the sofa, faceless, hardly recognizable with the passage of time. He is, however, clearly a warrior with two swords strapped diagonally to his back. Silently, to me he evokes bravery and strength. Time will never rob him of the virtues he represents.
The Amazonian pots stand discreetly on the top of the fireplace, three sentinels of the Marajoan culture that existed as early as 400 years before Christ – a culture that created an advanced urban civilization on the island of Marajó by the coast of Brazil.
The geometry of their earthy sensuous swirls and linear forms intrigue and excite me.
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the inhabitants left the island of Marajó and no-one knows why. To me they represent sensuality, virility and mystery.
The black panther, inscribed with ancient Chinese, is a powerful talisman. Created for the First Emperor of China in the third century before Christ, it is in two halves. One half remained with the Emperor while the second was issued to his generals.
Only when the two halves were united and presented to the assembled Chinese army could the general take his troops to war.
When I cast my eyes over these three artifacts I am consistently reminded that it is in the smallest things that culture, power and meaning reside.
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