Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Room of One's Own

It was not an impressive building from the outside. It stuck out in the landscape, like a tired figure with a slight limp. One of those structures that should have been knocked down but no-one could be bothered to do it. Or perhaps it meant something to someone and there were plans for its renovation. It looked as if it had staggered forward, but caught itself before it fell.

Who was I with when I went inside? I don't remember. I had company, I'm sure. Or were they straying on the path, telling me to go on ahead, bored with my interest in sad old abandoned places.

The door swings open to a world of bright light, high ceilings and a vibration, the sound of a cello, struck once. I hear wings flapping. A huge triple volume room, flinging the eye upwards to a wooden level like a loft. I climb the staircase that seems to be strung from cables but is solid, and lifts me gently up. Once on the level, more like a big shelf really, I tiptoe over to the window and look down. I expect an outdoor view - the bluegums in the distance, fields, cows. Instead - another room, the size of the one I just walked through. Curious. The place is bigger than it seemed.

Look down on the remains of an old pottery. Sealed bags of clay, stacks of powdery greenware, and packets of mysterious powders and glazes, spilling onto the shelves. Something has cranked alive in me. Like an old Lister motor that takes a while to spark, I am now chugging with excitement. My heart is whirring like a toy windmill.

Looking back, behind me, the warehouse-like room I entered now seems anything but a run-down derelict building. It's a treasure house, its vaulting white walls are crowding with images, projections, possibilities, sculptures, pots spilling out stories.

Next thing, I am flying - no, zooming with a zipping noise, first on cables that are strung about the ceiling (A great theatre this will make, this is where you'll hang the lights - wahaay - woohoooo! Steady on) I am truly flying, even out the window now, and loop back in, figures of eight, tight circles and swoops. Fantastic.

I want this place. Its broken concrete where the weeds grow through, its sagging bags of clay and glazes, and its mysterious way of materialising another room every time you look through a window.

Someone appears. A sort of estate agent type of someone. They tell me that William Kentridge has booked the place.

How much will it cost to secure it for myself?

R25 000 a month. I understand, deeply, that this figure is not how much it will cost, but how much it is worth to me. I understand the difference.


Angela said...

Is it real? Is it a dream? But oh yes, a wonderful place, a Room of One`s Own! With all its hidden possibilities! The Freedom it gives! Go after your dreams!! What`s money anyway?


Sounds like it has a huge amount of promise for your productions....Lx

tam said...

a dream, a dream, it was a dream! Is a dream.

Miranda said...

I can just imagine Mark's face as you tell this tale. Bewilderment, a slow dawning of realisation, a glazing over. It happens to me all too often!

fush and chips said...

Wonderful, magical post. Thank you.

オテモヤン said...