Things on windowsills

I was inspired today and for that I would like to thank Camille Pasquin and Natalia Shaidenko and their joint blog-project Diptychs. Their images are responses to a single word selected at random, and they are charming. I love the juxtaposition of their different styles and the way their personalities shine through in their photography. I love the fact that the pictures open up their own secret worlds, but together create something new and exciting. It’s interesting too to read people’s responses to their images, because it seems to me that most people don’t just look at these pictures (although they do that too because aesthetically they are very appealing), instead they are looking for something, searching, interpreting the pairing. This is what I would call active seeing.

I think Diptychs a great example of how collaborative photography can challenge our perspective and make us see differently (in this I am talking about the viewer and the photographer). It also demonstrates my point about how images can take on different meanings in different contexts, which is one of the things have been thinking about a lot. One of my favourite diptychs of theirs is sort . I love the visual impression of a haphazard kind of order and the ‘thingness’ this pairing radiates. It appeals to the collector within me.

As a sort of response to this I decided to look back through some of my favourite pictures of things on windowsills. People do collect interesting stuff on them. A windowsill (or a shelf) is a display of sorts; sometimes neat and ordered and well thought out and other times forgotten and neglected. It can be biographical: a snapshot of  a person’s life (but we should be careful not to sentimentalise and read too much into this interpretation; after all windowsills are on display, and what we put on a windowsill represents a choice of sorts). It can also be nostalgic, poignant, eye-catching, inviting, minimalistic, or maybe just empty. Some of these images are of public (shops, cafes), and some private spaces.

© Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

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