window pain

March 24th, 2011 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

I have a terrible habit of starting something, becoming really excited about it for a short period of time, and then completely forgetting about it.  On a road trip around northern Iceland  in July 2008, driving past one abandoned farm after another, I became briefly obsessed with making these “window portraits”,  the plan being to continue with it later.  Came across these recently , having not looked at them in over two years, and feel a definite urge to pick up where I left off…

The indoor shots are all taken in a farm that used to belong to two aunts of mine, sisters that never married and lived alone until they were around 80 yrs old, if I remember correctly, before moving to a rest home.   I found a way in through a door in the basement that was ajar, and was struck by the sense of .. well , abandonment.
I remember visiting them there in 1986 with my family. (I was 8 years old) They gave us freshly baked doughnuts and were always so sweet, and I couldn’t understand how they managed to go up and down this crazy narrow and steep staircase without falling.  Another memory from when I was only three or four, of playing in the field outside, running after one of their cows and falling over. Very strange and a  sad walking through the empty rooms, curtains still hanging, an empty shell left to slowly succumb to the elements..

Read 21 comments

21 comments for this post

These are strong “portraits” I love many of them, maybe the one with the reflected landscape best. The interior shots capture much of your emotional connection to your Aunts’ farm and your wonder at it’s empty state. We all have incomplete, unfinished projects waiting for the right time for us to get back to them. We need to follow our interest at the time and not force our work. All your work is important to me and your public example has been instructive and inspiring.

Love it! So many interesting textures in each one. I think my favorites are the third and fifth ones from the top.

I’m glad you found and posted them.

Good job (as usual), although the subject is quite sad.

Hey, I also have my own window obsession..and also door obsession,whatever window or door that have an interesting texture or color must be shot!

William H wrote on March 24th, 2011

The photos are wonderful. When I stumble across places like this I can’t help but wonder. Hard having memories of something like this so personal the conflicting emotions what once was to what it is now.
I returned last year to a town where I grew up and much of the ‘downtown’ area was boarded up or falling down. Was strange to see.
Take care be well.
Great work. I really like what you do. Thanks for sharing.

Njörður Helgason wrote on March 24th, 2011

Þetta eru flottar myndir R. Þú hefur farið í góða ferð.

branko M wrote on March 24th, 2011

Yup,me too.Iam constatly on the lookout for windows and doors.I think they have soul.

Javier wrote on March 24th, 2011

Artists frecuently have such a style.

Maybe some projects are not ready to be public until the artist is ready to share them…and this may take some time…It’s not a “technical” issue…is an existencial one..

Beautiful photos!

Ontario Wanderer wrote on March 24th, 2011

Interesting how windows and doorways grab one at times. I have some window photos from Malta that I really like but I’ve not done anything with them. Maybe sometime soon?

Jeremy Hakes wrote on March 24th, 2011

Iceland is beautiful. We pass the idea around of moving there in the future… Just no idea what the hell we’d do for a living.

But… I’m curious… do you ever take pictures of places that are not detroyed ? ;) How can you end up so ofter in such places ?!

Fallegar línur.

craftsman of light wrote on March 30th, 2011

Something reveals your strength, the dynamic touch that penetrates matter….i love what you do.

Sig in da city (maybe in the head?) wrote on April 3rd, 2011

Oh, clever lady…lol! I truly feel your *pane*, much as it pains me to admit as much. Ironies abound; we were scouting for just such a location recently, with or without *the ghosts of donuts past*. (Reminds me of the old *dead-donuts* joke.) Do tell all when/if you’re ready to-let, and on reasonable terms. Say 200€ per…??? References provided upon release — but, of course! Cheers!

I quite honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.

Translator wrote on April 5th, 2011

My guess is he or she was having fun with the title of your thread, hence the “pane” v. “pain” stuff and admits to being a bit jealous. As a compliment? The rest sounds like someone thinks the places you shot at would be good for a video or movie “location”. Maybe at a rent of 200 euros a day. The donuts reference might have to do with your aunties’ baking them in your youth and maybe because the place looks like a haunted house? Just some thoughts. And I like the pictures too.

Julie Kruger wrote on April 9th, 2011

I love your windows!!! Beautiful everything!

Your eyes capturing the windows of souls. My mom always told me, “yours eyes are the windows to your soul.”

I love your art Rebekka!

james Symonds wrote on April 22nd, 2011

A superb set… did the house stop being a home?

Rebekka, as always your pics are inspirational. There is something remarkably sad about distressed doors and windows. Once someone looked through those windows and saw their loved ones arriving, playing and departing. On the otherhand, maybe someone looked through those windows from the outside, wishing they could join in or belong! Doors are meant for opening and closing. Sad to see them so firmly shut. No new chapters or an end to an old one! Thank you.

I have never commented on a blog before (does that make me closed?) but your work is magnifico! I think I have to re-think my photo process!

Shaun wrote on July 13th, 2012

Thank you for posting these images of windows. I have been very keen on recording such things for a long time now. There is something so gut wrenchingly sad about deserted windows.

I can but imagine all the numerious times that people have stared or glanced through them. Each time, that person would have been at a different stage in his/her lifes journey. Sometimes joyous, sometimes desperate, sometimes just bored with everything. Nervous, elated, excited etc etc.

Then at some stage, someone would have looked through that window one last time, left the house never to return. And there the window would have remained. Through long days and nights, totally forgotten by everyone. Summers would have come and gone. Howling winter storms lashing it. And patiently it just waited for another person to happen upon it, and stare through it again.

I’m not sure why I feel these things when I see images of old windows, but I always have. So I photograph them when I can, And make a point of having a good look through them.


Leave a comment