Monday, April 29, 2013

The World's Most Poetic Wallpaper

I know what you're thinking. "It's just sunlight on a wall."

Yes, AND. The wall just happens to be in Emily Dickinson's bedroom. 
(The poet as a shy 16 year-old, December 1846, via)

The Story:
Uber-cool textile company Maharam commissioned artist Spencer Finch to travel to Dickinson's house in Massachusetts and use time-lapse photography to record the path of sunlight as it fell across the wallpaper in her room.

So this wallpaper is more than just wallpaper.
It's a historical document.
("Sunlight in an Empty Room" wallpaper by Maharam, available HERE.)

Over the years, Dickinson became more and more reclusive. By the end of her life, she lived in almost total isolation from the world. Her room was her refuge and her sanctuary.

So this wallpaper is more than just wallpaper.
It's a boundary line.

Within its confines, Emily Dickinson wrote nearly eighteen hundred poems. To me, those golden triangles on the wall are a metaphor for the passage of time, a poetic record of all the hours and days and months and years she must have sat there writing.

So this wallpaper is more than just wallpaper.
It's an ode to the creative process.

(Digital wallpaper installation. Approximate dimensions 10 feet high by 16 feet wide.)

I dwell in possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Superior--for Doors--

Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnable of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--

Of Visitors--the fairest--
For Occupation--This--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--

~Emily Dickinson, Poem 657

* * * * *

Editor's Note: If you have a minute or two, check out Maharam's lovely "Stories" section.
Contributions include Todd Oldham's vintage paper dolls, art by Maira Kalmanan animated film by Hella Jongorius, and much more.

Have a productive week.



Coulda shoulda woulda said...

I absolutely adore Emily Dickinson! That wallpaper is so genius...

littleaugury said...


gésbi said...

Very interesting - thank you!

Thérèse said...

Simply marvelous and what a precious recorded document!

Thérèse said...

Simply marvelous and what a precious recorded document!

Nancy // and while we are here said...

This is fantastic! said...

This both saddens & inspires me...imagine being voluntarily confined, yet so of the world in words...

Yes a productive week, I desperately need one of those.

katy gilmore said...

The Todd Oldham paper doll box made my day! Thank you!

Unknown said...

I love Emily Dickinson, and damask wallpaper and love how you call it a border. I put a link to this blog on mine.

noreen said...

that was lovely! i did not know emily was more reclusive as she grew older. now i want to research more about her. joy to you, n

Unknown said...

I would say it's simply a adorable work.
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