For this week’s photo challenge, I offer you my interpretation of the word “room,” which has several connotations. The first meaning that comes to mind is exterior, physical space. On a morning walk this weekend in Wayland, Massachusetts, we spotted a rusting piece of farm equipment in an open field, which conjures up the spirits of our pioneer ancestors who came to America in search of “room”–wide open spaces where they could stake a claim and plant their crops.
“Room” could also be interior space. One of my favorite design masters is the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who created the Meyer May House in 1908. This warm and inviting home was built in Wright’s “Prairie Style” for Meyer S. May, a successful Michigan clothier. As I toured the house, I instantly fell in love with it–attracted by its beauty and Wright’s remarkable attention to detail–which included everything–down to the lamps and light switches. But there was another less obvious reason, which was revealed when the docent told us that Meyer May and his wife were rather short. Wright had scaled the home to Meyer’s height–making the ceilings, windows, doors, counters, and bookshelves at just the right level for him. Like Meyer, I am a towering 5 feet 4 inches tall, so it’s no wonder that I felt immediately at home.
And finally, “room” can also mean metaphysical space. For the artist, “room” is the freedom to create–to fashion our everyday experience, thoughts, and dreams into something bold, unique and new. This artistic creative space is portrayed by the banjo player in the next photo. Sitting on the tailgate of his minivan during Art Prize 2012, he sang for the crowd, reminding me of a modern day Woodie Guthrie. He is an interesting blend of the 60’s hippie, the evangelical gospel singer, and the modern-day artist with his Eco-friendly T-shirt, nose rings, and tattoos.
What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.–John Updike
Fortunately for me, my creative “room” is portable. The simple act of sitting down at a computer and resting my fingers on a keyboard opens my mind and creates the interior space where I can create. A pen and a notebook also works and starts the creative flow. It doesn’t matter whether I am sitting in a train or a library, at my desk, or in my bed. For me it’s the willingness to still my mind and create a “room” where ideas flit by and characters lurk like ghosts. Where is your creative “room?” Do you work best inside your house or outside in a coffee shop or in nature?
For other interpretations of this week’s theme, click on the link here or below. And as always, thanks for sharing your thoughts!