My brick obsession

Billington Pix

Why do so many of my photographs contain bricks?, you might ask. There is a reason for the inclusion of a nice old brick wall in my choice of greeting cards.

For me, bricks have strong symbolism, defining the positive connotations of strength and integrity, versus the more negative meanings of boundaries and obfuscations. They also take on a battle with nature, changing their form as they age and take on character, but ultimately turn to dust.

You don't actually require many bricks to provide integrity to a wall. At some point the joint bonding between them is sufficient for it to stand - and remain - upright without any support. The power of bricks is incredible.

On its own a brick is just an oblong building block. It takes many bricks - and many contractors - to create a complete building construction of bricks. Both the bricks and the contractors work together to create the architectural triumph.

However, whilst bricks can together create form, they also obscure what is behind them. They create patterns and symmetries that can be admired, but they also enclose and sometimes entrap. These conflicts are what I love about bricks and construction.

Billington Pix Seeking greeting cardThey also decay, but with that brings an extra beauty. Repairs and crumbling mortars can appear ugly to the lay person, but to me I see a textural heaven. Decay brings character, and a different viewpoint for another generation to admire. Take the Parthenon in Athens, for instance. It was once painted brightly, but its colour has worn away over the millennia. Its patina only adds to its beauty. Sometimes nature also adds a helping hand in it's continuous reclaiming attempts at human constructions by seeding tiny plants and flowers into the structures. This cycle of civilisation's decay is a fascinating observation.

We all know that walls divide people, but they also enhance the imagination. What lies on the other side?, we wonder. Intrigue is never too far away from the human manipulation of the visual that are walls and constructed architecture.

The greeting cards that I have curated from my many photographs for the Billington Pix website look at the different types of bricks I have found interesting. I also play around with decay, colour washes and words to provide more specific meanings. A brick wall might create a barrier, but words and colour allow us to communicate across the divide. It's fun to fuse these two together.


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