Walls can tell so may stories. All the scars, knocks and scrapes tells of a wider story. It’s not just architectural history of a building I’m interested in. It’s what created the scars. The low lying stories of the people who lived and worked in them. Their aspirations, the care, lack of care, successes and failures. All of this is behind the scrapes and scrathes we see now.
The re-use and change of use. Extensions, past extensions. The lost verandas, filled in windows (tax avoidance) and doors. The decay and restoration. Failed projects. Successful businesses and the decline of them.
Bits of older wall from somewhere else, cut and fitted into another. The inventiveness and problem solving. Cost-cutting. The joining of smaller cottages into a larger one. It never crosses our minds, “why are there two doors that go into the same room”?
People leave their marks for prosperity, graffiti, names, initials, dates.
I’m not talking about ruins and monuments here, but actual buildings where people live and work. What’s fascinating is, we don’t cover this up; we like the story on show. There are the stuccoed and the plastered walls, but on the whole, we leave these exterior features for all to see. We are more likely to cover up the scars on the inside.
They become part of the patina, the shapes, forms and patterns of the building, along with the flowers and vegetables. After a while they become the “character of the building” and have to stay.
Walls have so much to say.
I also blog – I Take Photographs of Walls.
These are just a few images of walls I looked at whilst walking around a small town in Suffolk one morning.