Medium:Archival Signed Edition Photograph
Size (h x w):56cm x 41cm
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Woman in the window
Dutch towns away from the bustle of industry, built around a
linear network of canals, retain an old ambience. Inevitably I
searched for the social realism of Rembrandt, the ruddy round
faces, broad grins and flagons of ale. A woman wearing clogs
swept the cobbles between the houses. The spirit of Jan Vermeer,
of Pieter de Hooch lives on, now cleaned up, pristine facades
glimmer warmly in the sun. Avenues of orange-red bricks laid
with precision, sparkling windows with stretched lace, carpeted
tables laid with pristine china and ornately stemmed glasses.
The corner shop sat proudly to encase a sparse display.
'I could feel lonely here', I pondered the clouds, deeper in tone
and polarised in the window. A shop that looked shut even when
open; what did it sell? I imagined a peasant rolling a barrel down
the street and I could hear a lute gently strummed in the breeze.
An aroma from clay pipes, the distinctive tincture of a liqueur
permeated this street in 1972.
Her profile held a hint of androgeny, the powdered blush of post
first world war decadence. Plucked eyebrows pencilled in, a hint
of blue at the corner of the eye, lips parted to reveal china-white
teeth. Her hair was crimped with heated tongs then airbrushed.
Just who was this girl who had sat at the window for sixty years
without ageing. A papier-mache Deco-Egyptian goddess of love
juxtaposed with an incongruous plant that would have caught the
eye of David Hockney.
A jewel amidst the bland of modern expectations to excite the eye.
I felt that this little window had been waiting for me, an arranged
secret rendezvous, a two dimensional embrace in a silent street.
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