Let me start by sharing with you a song by a teenage girl and her little sister about an insufficiently small bedroom the year is 1994…
Living in a shoe box (1994)
“I am in a shoe box
Claustrophobic and Mum knows it
Please….ease give me my space
Oh dear Mummy give me money
Living in a shoe box its not much fun
Living in a shoe box hand me the gun
I think the give away that song is not a genuine or realised suicide attempt is the use of ‘please’. People on the edge are not polite. Also the fact that the stress of having a small bedroom was expressed through song is a give away that maybe the spatial unhappiness that could cause suicidal thoughts in a teen was already being productively, creatively and therapeutically processed through rhyme signifies the kids would survive. Thank you for the music!
Ok I wrote it!!! ‘Living In A Shoe Box’ circa 1994 was written by me and co-authored by my little sister Sally we were aged 14 and 11. We later added music and thought it was a nice touch Sally added her clarinet which usually riled me with its grating tone but when in support of my plea for help I saw it as the third member in our protest. Our song carried a pretty good tune actually, we can still now aged 30 and 34 sing it for you if you’d like? Obviously no one asks us to, so we make do with singing it to each other occasionally. It still makes us laugh. Our favourite is the dramatic end of ‘Dead’ which we dragged out using speech and no intonation we felt it gave it a sinister vibe and abrupt and well quite frankly maverick end. Sally and I are mesmerised by our ridiculous childhood but that’s another story. Back to the song it had a commitment to its angsty message - teenagers need their SPACE and teenagers need self expression in some or any form to survive those awkward years. For me a keen archiver and OCD collector my small bedroom was So unfair! *Slams bedroom door* and all the miniature ornaments I collected dusted and aligned in communities on my many shelves tumble to the floor like small china shelf lemmings all deciding to jump together. I would spend whole wkds dusting them and re-aligning them!
So, I am eagerly awaiting the edit from a photoshoot I did in a teen inspired bedroom I created for a scene in my music video where I perform as my alter ego ‘Megastar’ (sneak peek of the bedroom above)
Megastar is a pop celeb persona I have used to explore the influences of celebrity culture in my small home town of Trowbridge ‘Trow Vegas’ The creation of my teen bedroom is one facet of many adventures I have had as Megastar, her reality tv series #mylife is now on show in an exhibition at The Jerwood Visual Arts Project Space in London. Watch a teaser from Megastar’s internet hit show #mylife here.
I got to work on researching 90s style bedrooms and sacred teen spaces. I was interested in this project for many reasons. Teenage is often festized in popular culture and as an aesthetic its used by pop princesses in music videos so as Megastar with my first music video coming out I was interested in creating my own take on this. In addition to this glossy veneer borrowed in pop I have always been fascinated in the identity and privacy behind how you choose to represent yourselves. It seems teenage is the first time your room may as well be an installation. Much care is often put into making the space a reflection of your fantasies, friends and who you are attempting to become.
I was interested in creating a hyper girly aesthetic in my teen bedroom fit for my persona Megastar. However the reality is I was never girly like this as a teen I was a tom boy so this was quite a funny activity to explore. It was also quite weird as I have currently moved home 6 months ago with my Mum trying to save to move away so the reality of creating and then living in this room (which actually was my little sisters room has been bizarre!) Another case of a blurred boundary between life and art! My Mum looked at my creation and said “Its lovely darling is it meant to be like you never grew up” and then expressed an interest in keeping it that way as some kind of time wharp novelty guest room for girls! My teenage niece Courtney loved the look, lent me some stuffed toys and laid on my teenage bed looking up urban slang for me that we thought Megastar would use to describe her pimped pad! This really was a space influenced by 90s but a funny mix as Megastar herself featured as posters on the walls so it was a shrine to herself also!
My sister saw the pictures online and complained “What have you done to my room!!!?” The fact is she lives in her own house and has just had a baby, we can’t believe we’ve all grown up now and still laugh about the teenage angst song we wrote back in the day. As I lay in this this teen bedroom I do wonder how much have I actually moved on from that 14 year old songstress! And with that I say goodnight to my Mum, get into bed and stare at my Spice Girls poster by fairy light. I confide in Ginger Spice … “Living in a shoe box wasn’t much fun Ginge but fuck it THIS room is kinda zigga zig aaaah!” *Feeling girl empowered at this epiphany attempts powerful replica 90′s Sporty Spice air kick and twists ankle under suprisingly heavy winter duvet* Good night!
Here is some of the research I did for the room (below) I spent days and days trawling the internet for the right inspirations! Ill blog soon with the photoshoot of me in my room! To follow me as Megastar follow my tumblr: http://