It all happens on the couch, from conception to death, many of
life's defining moments occur between upholstered arms. The body may be
in repose, supported by a familiar piece of furniture, while the
cerebral functions are working overtime...or not as the case may be.
Reclining on the couch enjoying precious moments of peace and
solitude, secure from stress and tribulation, our minds are free to
wander and imagine as we read, watch television or just dream.
Here, on the couch, much social interaction takes place,
whether intellectual discourse or merely the exchange of trivial gossip
that bonds family, lovers and friends. Minds meet to debate world
affairs, hatch plots, manipulate and deceive. A couch can also provide
a stage for more dramatic incidents of love, passion or violent
Chairs hold no prejudice, benignly giving support to everything
that is perched upon them. Clean, dirty, people in good humour or those
recovering from illness or just lonely, frightened souls hiding from
the outside world all are received and held.
In the public sphere, we choose not to linger on the neutral
surfaces of seats in waiting rooms at dentists; hospitals or railway
stations our thoughts preoccupied with our destination, an impending
procedure or perhaps news about a newborn baby coming into the world.
We are forced to shun the over-stuffed menacing satin of a grand museum
piece, only to sink with weary gratitude onto a rough wooden bench,
revelling in the luxury of being off our feet after many hours spent
discovering new places.
Couches, sofas, settees, chairs have many guises. Not only do
these objects of repose provide security and comfort in an uncertain
world, they can also illustrate a sense of style or cultural heritage
and signify status or aspirations for a higher status, in the
A chair or couch can retain traces of the physical
characteristics and even the personality of a habitual occupant and so
the banality of these commonplace objects with which we share our lives
and look at so often that we cease to even see them may be transformed
and made beautiful.