'But a man has no more to do with the style of architecture of his house than a tortoise with that of its shell..........
...........What of architectural beauty I now see, I know has gradually grown from within outward, out of the necessities and character of the indweller, who is the only builder - out of some unconscious truthfulness, and nobleness, without ever a thought for the appearance and whatever additional beauty of this kind is destined to be produced will be preceded by the unconscious beauty of life.
Henry Thoreau 'Walden'
|fragments of text discovered attached to the
underside of the joists and floorboards.
The October break gave me a chance to really begin to strip back the layers of wallpaper, board, vinyl and plastics that seem to have stifled and suffocated the structure of the house over the years. It is strange but it feels rather like being inside a three dimensional version of one of my paintings, peeling back layers of time packed with dust and memories long since discarded and forgotten
Egg tempera, Indian ink acrylic and silver-point on wood 25x33cm.
Above a wasp in the kitchen before being released
and below a fragment of one of several long since
abandoned nests discovered in the ceilings
I discovered a mummified mouse behind the tongue and groove cladding which I am removing in the living room. Goodness knows what I will discover when I start to dig the trench for the septic tank and drainage...
Of all my neighbours however the most significant are the great horse chestnut tree and its companion beech tree in the garden adjacent which shelter the gable end of the house shedding between them a vast quantity of leaves, beechnuts and horse chestnuts which clog up the guttering and have to be continually swept.
|The Beech Tree
|The Horse Chestnut Tree
Apart from the voices of tourists and the clatter of wheeled cases on the cobbles the sound of birds and bells adds significantly to the sense of both place and space especially in the morning when I open the door to the terrace and look up.
|Reading 'Walden' during a lunch break ........
|Reconstruction of Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond, Massachusetts from a visit I made a few years ago.