10 May 2006

What is it about ugly wallpaper...

...and complete boredom that somehow ignites the imagination?

If you've ever had a moment where you didn't feel like reading (this happens to me very rarely) and instead decided to fixate on a square foot of hideous, busy wallpaper, what is it that turns a chintzy magnolia blossom into a short-eared elephant with a mane? Or a random paisley flourish into the remnant of some unidentifyable spice a kid might find at the bottom of a bowl of alphabet soup?

I wonder if Frank can still use wallpaper as creative departure, after a year of having to purge our house of it.

Aside from homes in Akron (and, I'm sure, elsewhere) that haven't switched owners in forty years, I recommend small French hotels for strange wallpaper seeking.

One place I stayed ten or so years back had a tiny loo (toilet only) with a 10-12 foot ceiling and wallpaper all the way up: funny little characters taking a hot air balloon ride. Absolument parfait, a mon avis! (Albeit a bit of a closed metaphor.)

Now, a way to work this into my pedagogy...


Justin Evans said...

I was raised by my grandparents and when my uncle moved out, I took over his room. On one wall was a sort of pastiche wallpaper, depicting victorian/eduardian theater motifs, advertising the 'Orpheus Theater.' It was pretty cool.

When I lived in Cedar City, going to school, our landlord would invite us into her home on occasion. She did a decopage (spelling?) on the ceiling, made from a lot of counter-culture magazines and concert posters from the late 1960's.

As for the not reading thing---I went months without wanting to read anything after my master's program in Education. Talk about crap! Graduate studies in education is an exercise in self-reciprocating academic incest. You would not believe all of the touchy-feely "Look at all the hard work I put into this paper/research project" self congratulatory writing in Education texts. I did not want to read a single thing for a very long time!

Penultimatina said...

Wow Justin, I have total wallpaper envy!

Have the motifs ever come up in your work?

Take on May

It's the first day of finals week and I already have that loopy off-my-routine feeling. Waiting for things to grade, and when those ...