I have come to realise that I like taking photos of doors. Put like that it sounds a bit odd, but I don’t think it is. Doors carry all sorts of symbolism, they are entrances into another sphere, guardians of lots of stories, even secrets, and the sites of so many meetings and encounters.
I like a door that looks well worn and slightly down-at-heel; like a weather-beaten face you know that this indicates a life well lived. It makes me imagine a busy flow of people entering and leaving and to wonder who has passed through the boundary which it guards.
Doors can also be fun, real expressions of personality. I particularly like the Art Nouveau ones in this respect, all curvy lines and coloured glass, symbolic to me of adventurousness and optimism. Then there are those doors that you just don’t want to enter. Think of every haunted house in films or ghost stories. Just like the classic cartoon image below, we are conditioned to imagine that rundown doors lead to dark, creep places full of maleficent creatures and bad past deeds. Yet, it’s all a creation – a means of playing to our love of storytelling.
There are also those doors which act as portals to other places, as seen in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Yes, a fictional story where a girl enters another world through the back of a wardrobe but also an allegory for the joy of imagination.
So, doors are a form of art, but they are also everyday objects and their appeal relates to our intrigue about the lives of other people and the mystery of the unknown. For, unlike paintings that are revered from a distance and cordoned off, doors are opened and closed, scratched and bashed and assaulted by the elements. I like their authenticity and mystery.
Or maybe not a door… Is the allure the same when it’s basically a window?