Tuesday, 26 March 2013

doorways

ph13-doorways

doorways - I recently made yet another house structure for my paper houses project - just another box with rooms, perhaps, but this one has doorways so that I can experiment with ways of seeing.....

Several weeks ago I realised my ideas were becoming more and more elaborate. Was this really about playing house? Then I took a few days off from it and realised I want to create illusion, yes, but I need to focus on the essential: consider the light and space, the shadows of time. It's important for me to keep this primitive. So I have made this box-house with doorways very much about mixing text and papers. There's no faux floor or attempt at grandeur. It's a model for my photography, a prop and does not look particularly special from the outside.

Doorways appear in dreams, very often in my dreams. I have repeated dreams to do with walking across landings from one room to another, or waiting for a bus door to open.

I've been reading a fascinating book called 'In Praise of Shadows' by the Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki. In this essay-book he writes about the importance of shadow in Japanese homes. A reverence for things that show the character of time, the beauty of opaque rather than shiny..... How the homes are designed so that there is only just enough light, to enjoy the beauty of shadow....

12 comments:

Norma Conway said...

You nailed it Cathy! Well, you glued it...but you got it. I was tickled to read this post, because when I first saw the visual, I was struck by the light/shadow...especially the light. I was about to write something about that, and when I read what you wrote I really don't need to go on about the striking light/shadow other than to say that you nailed it. Gosh you are doing such work!! Such work!! Exciting to see it unfold. N, x

Enchanted Blue Planet said...

Thank-you for reminding me about paring down all the way to light and shadow, honest use of material, personal reference. Always thank you.

Tina Gilmore said...

Your work and photos are exceptional and your words are thought provoking and profound. Love this post. xx

Erin said...

Yes we enjoy co-existing with the interplay of light & shadow, inside & outside in Japanese homes. I think we tend to appreciate translucent quality of paper window, bamboo blinds, frosted glass, corridors with low windows, light-weighted sliding doors - to invite 'the boundaries' such as doorways to become possible places for poetry :)

Where with the transparent or sold and shiny "perfect boundary" that interplay is lost. Magic is gone.

I love your little house space, it looks like breathing :)

Lynn said...

Beautiful, Cathy. Your image is amazingly still and powerful, hovering on the edge of meanings and associations: "boundaries" to borrow Erin's word. And I love your choice of text for it.

I've just ordered a copy of "In Praise of Shadows" on your recommendation. It sounds fascinating - thank you!

Chloe said...

Beautiful image, I'm finding it really interesting reading your posts about this project.

Cathy Cullis said...

Thank you for all your kind and thoughtful comments - much appreciated. Especially thanks to Erin for your eloquent words.

best wishes, Cathy

Joanne S said...

These little houses give me time to stop and think. To imagine. To be one with the house. I am loving this project. And come back to visit the houses often.

mimmin dove said...

such depth in every way; i really like this, thank you.

Avalanche Looms / Susan Johnson said...

oh!oh! oh! This is such an exciting thing to read. Doors opening into rooms with another door and another room, enfilade, excites me, too. Have you ever constructed a playing card house, and looked inside? Your set reminds me of that, and I love the Japanese idea of just enough light to create shadow.

Cathy Cullis said...

Thank you again for all your thoughtful comments. Susan: oh yes playing card houses, I used to love making them and then having my brother knock them down! I seem to remember spending hours building tiny worlds and here I am doing the same.... thank you.

red said...

Isn't it grand when something you are working on revels itself. The light and shadow are lovely. shadow is the gift. I jsut want to move into that little space and read.