Thursday, December 17, 2009

History

This post has a history.

It started out being a post about graffiti ...

... which got me thinking about walls and the way they are marked by their history...

and so the post evolved in a way which is linked with my own history.

My photography habit started to become serious with walls quite a few years ago.
Yes indeed, walls.

I took dozens of photos of walls for a design board on a textiles and design course I was doing. I was much laughed at by my family and attracted some comment from passers-by but fortunately LG was too young then to be as scandalously embarrassed by my behaviour as she would now be.
And anyway, she was firmly fastened into a push-chair at the time so could do little but watch, bemused, as I scrutinised and photographed interesting bits of wall.

Here are some of the photos, scanned:



Most of these are from the walls around Charlton House, which is Jacobean - C17th.
These walls have really been marked by their history.

As my interest in photography has progressed, I've found myself taking photos of all sorts of walls, the most interesting being those bearing signs of their histories.

Histories of previous attachments






Histories of habitation still inscribed, faded and peeling, merging with the repetition of the brickwork...











histories of more recent markings and erasure



and of course graffiti. And among my favourite graffiti are those scrawls on walls which hint at a history all their own




you have to remember Ray





This last picture was around the back of the Astoria, a favourite venue in London, now demolished - consigned to history.




a Theme Thursday post

31 comments:

SueG said...

Yes! These are wonderful, and what a great idea about the interplay between walls,history and photography. Thanks!

Jasmine said...

Such a cool study of walls.

I'm a big graffiti fan too, the art stuff with something to say. Mindless tags just feel like vandalism.

A friend of mine has set up business in London 'Brick City Boutique'. They get a market together with a whole bunch of DJ's in Brick lane and play music and sell stuff. Most of he stuff is Graffiti orientated. Renna designs tags and customises them into silver jewelry (piecology), others cusomise clothing with graffiti, some take commissions for walls in clubs, pubs, galleries etc. Lots of fun but takes real dedication as not many want to pay for this.

Walls speak volumes x

Brian Miller said...

what a cool take on the theme lettuce. i love going downtown and wlking around all the old buildings...the faded signs...history in the walls. nice;y done. love the pics! happy tt!

Mrsupole said...

Love the pictures. Those are some interesting walls.

If only the walls could talk, what an interesting story they would tell of all that has happened around them. And I really like how your blog has evolved. I think once they stop evolving, then we stop blogging.

Happy TT.

God bless.

Barbara said...

A lot of food for thought here. Do you ever wonder how you will leave your own historical trail? Or whether you will simply choose to blend in with the anonymous masses?

Alan Burnett said...

There are some wonderful images there. You are right - walls can provide just as meaningful a vehicle for history as pen and paper. Theme Thursday greetings to you.

Giulia said...

One of my architectural/historical obsessions. (A good thing that it is. Helped in archeological training.) Thank you so much for this, Letty.

Stephanie said...

I loved it! I've got a collection of photos of stone walls, LOL.

Wings said...

Those walls DO talk!

JeffScape said...

Wonderful! Wings beat me to it, but who says that "talking to a brick wall" is a bad thing?

ArtSparker said...

so strange that bricks and mortar can be ephemera.

Roy said...

Great take on the theme! I especially like the shots of where the Ivy used to be on the walls. And brick textures have always fascinated me.

And of course now I'm going to be aiming my camera at walls all day tomorrow, especially one particularly picturesque estate wall of red brick and white stucco with some good green ivy growing on it. Heh, heh!

Tom said...

oh, you are not crazy! Wall pictures are wonderful; i think i have some archived somewhere, and now am itching to post them. Great pics of history, happy TT!

Lynne said...

FAB photos, Letty!! So much history. I particularly love the ones with writing on top of writing.

I see my prayer for snow for you is going to happen! The weather is predicting SNOW for London!!!

We want pics!!!!

Ronda Laveen said...

They are beautiful pieces of art. It is a good thing that someone captured them. Maybe a book someday?

Ronda Laveen said...

They are beautiful pieces of art. It is a good thing that someone captured them. Maybe a book someday?

e said...

This was a wonderful, creative post, and you are not in any way crazy...If only all of these walls could talk...

Ronda's right. A book would be fabulous.

willow said...

I am nutty for old bricks! Your opening photos are fabulous. Thanks for the smiles.

Kris said...

I can't get enough of walls either.

Leah said...

Really great. I love "Micky Probably Likes It." I would totally buy a book of your wall photos too!

Liza said...

I love this post. I really love your work. So, where can I buy the book? Maybe a calendar?

sue said...

hi lettuce, a very cool post.. heehee another wall lover here :-) especially graffiti and walls with growths! love your histories of previous attachments! walls do speak volumes... xx

Gladys said...

I love the old ads on walls. There is one in downtown Shreveport La that says "You Needa Biscuit, Co." The city decided that was pretty cool and commissioned a bunch of school kids to paint murals all over town on the sides of buildings. It really is lovely.

...mmm... said...

What a fantastic take on history with looking at walls and your marvelous photos. i love it. Yes, indeed if these walls could speak, hey?

Baino said...

If only walls could talk. I love your walls and yeah, I think Mickey probably does like it . .

Shammickite said...

Where would we be without walls?
The answer is "out in the cold".

Megan said...

Ooh, have I got some walls for you. Come to Los Angeles! :)

These are fascinating, all of them.

lettuce said...

so many brick-crazy people out there! i'm so glad you all like my wall photos and that this post got me scanning in the old originals...

a book of wall pics. hmmmmm

jasmine your friend's project sounds great. when are you coming to london? we could go together! :-)

gladys, that sounds very cool

and now - i want to see all your wall photos please.

lettuce said...

Megan, i'd love to

one day maybe...

Steve said...

Awesome post, Lettuce. As you know, I'm a big fan of walls, too. I especially love photographing one wall over a period of time and watching the way it changes.

prashant said...

what a great idea about the interplay between walls,history and photography. Thanks!

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