Monday, October 27, 2008

Wallpaper Fragment




We own a building with an apartment and a business in it. I guess we are landlords but I have nothing to do with it, it is my husband's 'thing'.

Next door lived a single man for many, many years. My husband, kind hearted as he is, would stop and chat with him, affording him some human contact that he sadly had so little of.

When he began to notice not seeing him around for several weeks he became concerned and called the police to investigate. They found him, passed away in bed since several weeks.

Fast forward three months. The building sold and new people came in and began gutting the building. They were sensitive to anything they could maintain to the history of the building; these are all Victorian era houses but, ultimately, most of it had to go.

We stopped by to see their progress the other day. It was stripped to the rafters. Above the fireplace, however, was the last in a series of wallpapers. I immediately felt a connection to this paper (sounds a bit out there but, you know) and asked if I could take some. Sure they said, bemused, it was all coming down to be drywalled anyway.

It was really really brittle. I managed to get this one fragment intact enough to hold in my hands. As we walked home, my husband wondered what plans I had for it. I didn't know, exactly, but it was so evocative, so lovely to me I knew something could come of it.

Besides using it in this post, my plan is to make some color copies of it and incorporate the motif into a card, collage or some other paper project... maybe with that old typeset I got at the flea market... I always trust things to make sense if I follow my instincts...

8 comments:

Leililaloo said...

It's a gorgeous piece of wall paper. when i saw the photo of it here on your blog, i was so so struck by it. It's very beautiful!!!!I look very much forward seeing what you will do with it!

chelsea said...

love this story. gorgeous wallpaper.

krystyna81 said...

what a sad story...thank goodness for thoughtful people like your hubby!

I think that paper is fabulous...to be surrounded by such beauty! I trust you will do something sublime...

greavesdesign said...

thanks everyone for your sensitive comments. I do feel like the isolation in this man's story added to the feelings I got from the wallpaper. Strip back the layers of his life and there were happier, more beautiful times...

I will do something with this in my heart.

Grace@PoeticHome said...

Such a sad story....and I know that your husband brought happiness to the nice gentleman.

Your analogy of the wallpaper and stripping back the outer layers to reveal beauty and happiness is touching. The wallpaper is both beautiful and nostalgic. The details are haunting yet gorgeous. I look forward to the art you will create with it!

Waterrose said...

I'm glad that someone was taking the time to interact with this man --makes you wonder what their story was all about.

What a beautiful pattern and color. I grew up in a very old German built house and my parents were always renovating. I remember removing wallpaper from rooms and the wallpaper was 15 layers deep. There was some really cool paper, but at the time ( was 13) it really didn't hold any value for me.

sandra said...

while deciding what to do with the wallpaper one option could be to mount it tightly behind glass in a favourite frame and hang it from your studio wall to ponder and admire...

greavesdesign said...

Sandra, what a great idea! Right now it is just pinned to my bulletin board. I think that is brilliant. Thank you!