One of the delights wondering through old Damascus is to come across an old wooden door usually leading to a khan or rhiad. In all reality most of them are perhaps 2-300 years old, but I love the idea of all the people that would have entered through the doors- with what hopes and dreams and with what stories in their hearts?I would really like to take one of these doors- like a giant stamp and print it onto fabric- with all its nail crenellations, its worn grooves, its texture and its decoration.Most doors are decorated in one form or another and all bear the marks of their wear. I have been thinking about what it is I want to express with my exhibition- I do want to have the sense of the exotic, because wondering around Damascus exploring nooks and crannies and finding treasures and occupations long gone form western lands make you feel a bit like you have landed in a magic place- add to that the sociability of the people and you have an unforgettable experience. In fact old Damascus feels like a giant book in someways, one in which it is a privilege to wonder through its pages, to touch the cornerstones of history, to rub ones hand over the worn and shiny wood of an ancient door.
The bottom photo is also of wood- a wooden stamp which I bought at Ishka last week ( the stamps have doubled in price since I went there about 18 months ago, so it might be a while before I add to the collection- I think it may be the result of a magazine article in which the wood blocks were assembled as a coffeee table top- and resin had been poured in the gaps between the blocks and to even the surface).It too has that worn look of use , the tiny imperfections signifying the hand of the maker- with what dreams did he sit with his chisel and wood block to carve this pattern for printing?