It use to be that walls were primarily meant to provide shelter. They were meant to hold up ceilings and solidify floors. They were built to protect people from the cold and harsh elements of this world, like gusting winds and freezing rain. Walls can safeguard, fortify, defend and also display art.
Imagine, a room with four unpainted walls. Empty & void, until we add a clock. Not a substantial timepiece, just a bare clock, that ticks. On and on incessantly, in that room with our four unpainted walls.
And then we add a window. It’s purpose is to let fresh air in. Not a fancy, stain glass window, but a bare single hung window, with two panes of glass. Where the bottom sash is lowered and raised inside of a frame, without a spectacular view.
But we soon realize, that the window allows us to witness a show. We can watch leaves flying by and the sleeting rain. And sometimes we look and see pillowy clouds float past, and sometimes even a rainbow! But the these picturesque views are few and often far in between.
Meanwhile, the other three unpainted walls seem to stand defiant and plain. And it’s clear that a wall, even with a window carved in the middle can function as they do, just holding up a ceiling, solidifying a floor and protecting inhabitants from the harsh elements of outdoors isn’t the end all, be all to the wall’s usefulness. The window starts to make sense.
And then the season changes, it’s mostly bleak. The unseen trees are bare, so that not even a leaf blows by. No rain, so there’s no rainbow and no pillowy clouds to imagine things by. Just the bleak overcast that hangs heavy. Depressing.
And the room, with the view-less single hung window and it’s unspectacular ticking clock seem depressing because the human brain requires external stimulus.
Perhaps the other reason that we have walls is to paint them with Behr wall paint, because there’s a purposefulness given to a wall that’s been decorated with color! Or maybe the wall can be used to display a child’s drawings from kindergarten through grade school. Or maybe the empty wall can motivate us to discover artists and their art with a visit to an art gallery.
One thing is absolutely certain… walls can do more than just hold a building together. Look around you, what’s hanging on your walls?
In case you’re wondering, aside from holding my house together, my walls do an awesome job of holding my art. I like to think that they’re embracing my artwork, hugging my creativity and showing me my accomplishments, my walls are strong and such a rich source of inspiration. What are your walls doing?
My work is currently on exhibit at Piano Craft Gallery in Boston, MA.