He Finds No Easy Chair*
Old things appeal to photographers – have you ever noticed this and wondered why? I don’t think that it is only photographers who find some appeal in objects that are vintage or retro or antique. Even grunge has appeal. It is more than character because plenty of new and modern items, objects in prime condition also possess character. Perhaps it is the hope that we will also continue to exhibit appeal and possess value as we age. Perhaps it is the image of wisdom associated with age, the wear and tear that are necessary to the development of sageness.
Chairs represent places of rest. It is a space where we imagine that we can think or forget. It is where hope or despair visits with us, pulling up its chair for a spell. Chairs are also receptacles, a place to deposit things – yourself, the cat, shopping bags, laundry, pillows,etc. The empty chair permits us to imagine, to create a visitor, perhaps from the past or from a dream. Therapists use empty chairs as a counseling technique, inviting the client to speak to their disappointment or to their future self, to learn from a conversation with the empty chair. What ghosts now sit in the chairs having conversations with those who sit with them?
As a photographer, I am drawn to the symbols of age and to chairs, and to all of their varied interpretations. I also like that old objects invite my creativity in post-processing, adding textures, desaturating them, and illustrating a moment of their story.
What old objects capture your imagination?
“The discontented man finds no easy chair.” (Benjamin Franklin)