Monday, September 05, 2005

Elevated Consciousness


This is the ceiling of the lift in one of the buildings where I work. I look at it everytime I travel up to the third floor and experience a combination of the following thoughts - the order is random:

1. Is there a foot fetishist in the office (see image far left under the light)? It is a very stylised foot - and the shoe incredibly impractical. The alternative explanation that immediately follows takes me back to the age of six/seven: two years in sucession I won the painting prize at primary school. Even then I knew I was useless at painting - but one year I decided to play to my strengths and paint a picture of a horse behind a wall, next to a tree and infront of a hill. Now, being behind the wall meant I only had to draw the head (and a hint of rear end). Walls, trees and hills are not tricky for a six year old. One is red, one brown and green and the other green and brown. A winning combination when pitched against several Dr Whos, uniformly green monsters and princesses (oh, and Romans - we always did Romans. I come from the North East, we have to go quite far back to find heroes we can study since the value of the real heroes of the coal and ship building industries was not appreciated in the late 70s when Margaret Thatcher was blowing hard on Wilson's white heat of technology. Enough.)

Anyway. The shock of winning the prize made a deep impression and with next year's competition looming, I decided that I should stick to a proven formula and paint the same picture again. It was, I appreciate now, an ironic intervention intended to highlight the subjective and internally conditioned precepts of aesthetic judgement - hem hem. Or, in other words, a lazy bid for approval. I won, but the guilt has remained - alongside the nagging doubt that had I chosen to extend myself and take risks (a trait I fail to exhibit in many situations) I might have pulled off something special the second time around.

Like a cow behind a wall. Or a camel, even.

Back to my point. Perhaps the drawer of the shoe can only do feet in shoes - and has thus become a specialist drawer of feet in shoes, forever caught in the trap of repeating a feat (sorry) for which he or she was once praised? This is a sad, yet strangely attractive thought and I regularly scan the walls and lifts of other buildings checking for further evidence that this might be the case.

2. How can the stencilled, stylised head of what I presume to be a rabbit, touch me everytime I get in this lift - am I soft in the head? I worry slightly about its left ear - which appears a bit fuzzy and out of focus. And the lack of a mouth plus big round eyes...

3. Why would anyone in their right mind put carpet on the wall of a lift?

By this point I have arrived at the third floor and am stopping the business of the whole building by holding the lift door open and peering at the ceiling.

2 Comments:

Blogger hyponchondria jones said...

Carpeted lifts are in case the lift cables break and the lift crashes down causing the occupants to fly into the walls. Thanks to the shagpile, there will be no scuffing although they may be slightly dead.

7:24 pm  
Blogger c&v said...

Well thought out - I think you have a career as a professional explainer ahead of you...

7:54 pm  

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