Monday, June 15, 2015

365 True Things: 79/Home (6/15/15)

We are staying a few days with my brother- and sister-in-law, in their new house in a suburb of Oslo. Formerly, they lived in a lovely older apartment, with one long corridor off of which opened four rooms, plus one and a half bathrooms; the rooms were high-ceilinged and with creaky wooden floors (though the larger bath had a tile floor with radiant heating—which convinced me that I had to have such a thing too). I found the apartment elegant, with its picture rails and walls painted in rich hues.

Now they live in a newish "garden town" house in a part of town that is transforming from industrial (matchstick factory, car dealers) to a mixed community with many immigrants. Their three-story house has seven rooms plus one and three-quarters bathrooms (and no radiant heating that I can discern, alas). They moved in a year or so ago—and as so often happens, are still moving in, as in: they still have boxes to unpack. Though it feels quite lived in, if not so thoroughly as their old place.

I enjoy taking photos in people's houses. Capturing a sense of who they are through the things they own and display. I took lots of photos in their old house. This morning, I found a few interesting subjects. I bet next time I visit, there will be more: more pictures on the walls, more little groupings of curios. As happens . . . Although it's always nice to have that fresh start in brand-new place, that clean slate of pristine white wallspace, we do manage to stamp our identity on it.

I've been thinking about this because our own brand-new house —which really was brand new, built more or less from scratch— continues to lack much of a stamp of ours. The only real decorations I have are a few knickknacks on the mantel and on a shelf in my loft, a hanging mobile of words (a housewarming gift), and two calendars —the only items I could bear making holes in the walls for.

Not to say there isn't plenty of stuff around that might tell a visitor "who we are." Stuff such as books, magazines, a few DVDs. But that's not decoration. And I think our (I mean that generally) aesthetic choices are so interesting, so telling.

So, when I get home from vacation—and all is still possible—I think it's time I find our old pieces of art, my old framed photos, and start hanging some of them up. And I'd like to find some new ones as well, start supporting working artists.

As for projects of my own, I've thought for a long time of putting a series of small framed photographic prints in the entry hall. Maybe I'll start there. And I'd like to make a large print of a triptych of Hawaiian water and sand and frame it even larger, with a good-sized matte.

In any case, it's time to more fully inhabit our new house.

Though I'm sure I'll keep plenty of wallspace free. I do enjoy that clean, anything's-possible look.

1 comment:

  1. i like reading about all your photo projects . . something that ive been grappling with myself - thanks for the bit of inspiration!