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Friday, January 4, 2008

Author Oonagh O'Hagan dishes with Dean Mayo Davies about Post-It abuse...

“I was living in South London in a flat with a load of random people. All were very nice apart from one, who was a prolific Post-It writer. She wrote about everything and had a one or two note a day habit," explains Oonagh O’Hagan, author of “I Lick My Cheese...and Other Notes From The Frontline of Flatsharing” (Sphere), a book of Post-It perversion that provides a snapshot of house-sharing turned ugly. "Only when I told friends and colleagues did I realise I wasn’t alone in this literary domestic torture!”

Up and down England, and certainly everywhere, a silent war is being waged with notes—hostile missives scribbled not only on Post-Its, but also bills, cigarette packets, back of envelopes, even in margarine. Chances are you're either a scribbler or receiver of these paper daggers. “We’ve all had a flatmate from hell," continues Oonagh, formerly of Tank magazine and Rem Koolhaas' AMO agency. "I've spent years as an undemocratically appointed flat cleaner, or a cash cow, like when a flatmate used my bill money to fund his upcoming art exhibition!”

With four million people sharing flats in the UK alone, Oonagh has opened the door on a vast yet largely unknown phenomenon with her new tome. Proof can be found on an accompanying website, where sufferers are encouraged to post their own notes for all to see. International contributions are especially welcome. Plus, if your own domestic situation is more dramatic than a Dynasty marathon, you can even shop for a new housemate.

Art director, lecturer, ideas merchant and Central Saint Martins fashion graduate, Oonagh is currently putting the finishing touches on her "very conceptual" line of jewellery, which will be sold in the best stockists in Paris and London. "The line questions what contemporary jewelry actually is,” she explains. Today I think the boundaries between art, design, fashion, exhibition, retail space, etc. are becoming so blurred.” Look for another, more serious, book from Oonagh on that very subject.