April 21, 2011

The Wall Project: The Wall in Muttrah

For some reason, I have always taken pictures of walls wherever I have travelled; I find it intriguing to see what people choose to place/paint/plaster/inscribe upon the walls, what kind of canvases they perceive the walls around them to be. Walls in cities across the world have been amazing exhibition-spaces for incredible graffiti art, for instance. Yet, in my opinion, a blank, freshly painted wall offers as much food for thought as a time-layered one, dense with fragments of posters, banners, and flaking sheets of paint.

I would like to share a few pictures of the walls that I have photographed through the medium of this blog, kicking off what I will call as The Wall Project.

The first wall to feature in the project is this one below:

This wall is situated at the back of the Muttrah souk in Old Muscat, just before the warren of narrow alleys containing old houses with latticed windows and brightly-hued wooden doors, fruit stores, coffee-shops and a thriving community: a neighborhood in the truest sense of the word. Perhaps, the wall is a gateway to an alternate universe that resides within those lanes.

At times, it’s simply the visual interest that a brightly painted wall generates that compels me to take a picture. In some cases, such as of this wall, I wonder if there is a story behind this red spot. For some reason, I can’t quite bring myself to believe that it has been painted arbitrarily.

What is that blood red spot? I deliberately used the word, blood red, for the effect is uncannily - and eerily- similar to that. The juxtaposition of the textured white surface and the red, the dripping paint, the sheer randomness of it all – the wall produces a tumult of visual responses.

I first discovered this red-spot emblazoned wall about three years ago while doing an article on the souk; funnily enough, when I returned a year later, this red-spot emblazoned wall remained, the spot as freshly red as ever.

A sign-post of sorts? Telegraphing a secret code amongst a group? Finger-printing the neighborhood, individuating it from the others around it? For me, it instinctively reminded me of a bindi on a white canvas, the presence of this paint-spot turning the wall into a painting.

What do you think the red spot represents? I would love to hear your responses!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time out to leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you!