Wednesday, August 08, 2012

surface staring floods

Surfaces of deteriorating paintwork invariably attract me. This was I think on one of those locked  metal boxes by the roadside containing telephone terminals and links. It conveys a sense of mystery, an echo of chaos or  distant symmetry or both.  Think of the great abstract expressionists, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock in particular, and you find similar effects produced as a result of considered planning rather than wind and rain working at random on paint and metal.

In the window of Cafe Nero in The High Street, they have placed a sofa and armchairs with a low table to create a sense of relaxation and comfort and so attract customers.  It's a bit a like a scene from  the Friends series on TV.   But there's a problem for passers-by when people are occupying this furniture. We are used to looking into shop windows and certainly for the most part licenced to do so,  but  ins at the same time we are instructed from childhood that its rude to stare at other people. Curiousity invariably wins in my case when I see an interesting face or for that matter an iteresting surface(as above)  I stare regardless. But this afternoon confronted with a blond woman at leisure with her coffee just a couple of feet away on the other side of a shop window, I look and look away and look again, as I walk past. And I feel, for no good reason, slightly uncomfortable.

Earlier this year following the heavy rain we had a pump installed against the flood in the larder in our basement..  In the health food shop I often meet an elderly lady with a similar flood problem.  She is there today. "I was hoping to see you," she says, "how are your floods?" I tell her. She says that despite the rain, hers have not reappeared.  Noah, had he been passing, might have  understood.


marja-leena said...

Oh yes, I love these kind of surfaces, worn by nature or man or both. In addition to the artists you mention Antoni Tapies comes to mind, though with more colour.
This also reminds me of a series of photos I took of the worn cement floor in our printmaking studio. We are of like minds, it seems.

Happy memories of our visit with you, with a walk and a stop at a cafe in your town flood me with your second description.

Unknown said...

I love Tapies. When in Barcelona once we visted the Tapies museum, full of wonderful signs and honey-coloured surfaces. The buiding has a sculpture of a bicycle on the roof above the door.

We fondly remember your and Fred's visit.