Part of our organizing kick this month includes using and finding places for the things we already have. In case you hadn’t noticed, we love large scale artwork. Love. It. We switch up the art on our walls seasonally and we’re constantly on the hunt for pieces that are provocative and unique.
Let’s rewind about ten years. I was moving to my first apartment hours away from my parents. My mother told me to ‘shop’ in her basement storage space for things to furnish my new place. I snagged a couple of end tables and, when no one was looking, this giant piece of art. I loved it then and I adore it now. My Dad gave it to my Mom when they were first married! I simply called it Harvey.
Now flash forward to a few years after that, when I was moving from Toronto to Halifax. The only item that broke in transit was my dear Harvey Edwards. The pane of glass cracked in the most horrible way. But because I was poor (read: I worked in radio) I didn’t have the hundreds of dollars to have it properly fixed. So it sat, broken and sad for years.
But no more! With a couple of coupons and a gift card and some get-up-and-go, I had my dear Harvey reframed. These dancing shoes now have a new style, and an entirely new life.
It used to have just a plain black plastic frame, but this time, I opted for a narrow creamy white mat to bring out the depth of the black and a leathery white frame to maintain the airiness of the piece while also adding necessary weight.
Thinking back to when I nicked Harvey from Mom’s basement – I didn’t really have a sense of style back then, but I think my love for Harvey really informed the things I now enjoy. The negative space is captivating, the colours in the shoes are remarkable and the message of the piece – don’t even get me started. When I was younger, I’d imagine a ballerina just beyond the scope, rubbing her aching feet, running over her dance steps in her mind over and over again. She’d just left the stage after a rousing applause – and she couldn’t wait to take the stage again the next day.
Sometimes, I see dancing shoes so loved that they have almost literally become part of the dancer’s body. More recently, I see the subtext of a dancer who has pushed her body beyond what is natural for her entire career and now her shoes, much like she, are tattered, and depleted and and she must move on and leave them behind in order to flourish once again.
I guess it’s fair to say with a piece like this, there are many meanings for many people at different times in their lives. Perhaps this is my argument for never buying those mass produced, soulless pieces of art from big box stores. It’s more likely just my urging to you to fill your home with meaningful things.
Welcome home, Harvey! *dances in the living room*