Are you Sitting Comfortably?
“It isn’t so much as what’s on the table that matters as what’s on the chairs”.
William S. Gilbert
The chair has long been a metaphor for the human and many artists have utilised this motif to great effect. It is a powerful symbol I return to often in my work, its accessibility makes it a favourite with many. I am currently working on remnants of a broken and battered wooden chair that I found washed up on the beach – its shabby paint and distorted form is alluring. The assemblage is going to appear to be walking into the wall with flies crawling up one side of the back – I am thinking of calling it ‘Inertia’.
Trying to capture the mood of isolation of abandoned chairs, and the spirit of the location where I discovered them, has been a photographic passion for the last nine years.
The photograph above was taken in Dujiangyan, China in June 2012. As I walked along a busy dual carriageway, that bypassed the city, dilapidated warehousing littered the perimeters, I spied this old, battered and poorly mended seat alone in the middle of a deserted pavement – discarded? As I raised my camera, from nowhere an old woman grabbed the chair out of view. You can just see her hand appearing in the left of the shot as I frantically pressed the button.
‘The Pink Sofa in the Fog’ image above has been widely exhibited and appreciated. It was selected for publication in ‘Volume’ arts magazine to accompany a poem. Taken in Morecambe, Lancashire in 2008, on a foggy day, it evokes the dismal ambiance of the town that day.