Friday, July 11, 2014

Dakar Nest: The Anatomy of a Gallery Wall

After posting our latest living room updates, I thought it would be fun (maybe just for me?) to share a bit more about the gallery wall. I know you've wanted nothing more but a walk through my personal treasures, right?! Awhile back, I wrote about my "design philosophy" and desire to let my personal life experiences and influences guide my aesthetic and design choices. This gallery wall is definitely an attempt in that vein, or at least a start in the right direction!

An honest aside: after living with the gallery wall for a couple of weeks, I kind of wish it weren't so tight/symmetrical. But the pain of rehanging the frames is NOT worth it. Such is life. Also, I wish that flower on bottom right was just slightly to the right. I have issues. And yes, these photos definitely drive home the point that I have some frame straightening in my future. I noticed.

1. This "print" is actually wrapping paper I bought at LACMA when visiting Megan in southern California (summer of 2011). The colors are a little "anitque-y," but I thought it complimented the other pieces nicely, and was one of the few larger "works" (haha) in my collection. I'm young and a vagabond... meaning I don't actually own any art.

2. Love this ceramic plate from Morocco! I think I bought it Fes (but maybe Marrakech) on vacation with Laura, also in 2011. While exploring the medina, we disovered this hole in the wall ceramic shop in the labyrinth of the old city, and walked in to find a veritable maze of enormous rooms, filled with towering stacks of ceramics. Heaven. Sadly I lost most of my pictures from this amazing trip when my computer died a few years back! I want to go back for the sole purpose of rephotographing the sites, arts, and people.

This is the one and only digital photo I have from that trip :( Glad I posted this shot from Jemaa el-Fnaa on my travel blog! Photo credit to Laura Perry, now doing amazing things in Madagascar!

3. This black and white print is a reproduction of an antique photo of St. Louis, Senegal - the former French colonial capital of West Africa. I bought this print depicting the colonial Marché de Volaille (chicken market) in a little shop in St. Louis when exploring the city for the third time in late 2010 with my French grandmother who was visiting me at the time. I don't remember the name, but the shop that sells these prints is absolutely fascinating. Track it down if you're ever in St. Louis - I hope it's still there!

4. A tiny shot of traditional shoes for sale in Morocco, and one of the few photos I had printed from my trip - hallelujiah!

5. A second plate from Morocco, this one is definitely from Fes. Apparently the blue and white pottery is the city's traditional design. I think it says Fes in Arabic in the middle, but I'm not sure. If anyone can confirm or give me the correct translation - please do!

6. A card from my mother on my 23rd birthday... loved the picture, loved the colors. I always save cards, can't bear to throw them away. Glad I held onto this one :)

7. Ahhh, my favorite! I bought this three-photo frame at Ikea this spring, and decided to display commemorative wax fabrics from my travels rather than photographs. From top to bottom: Burkina Faso Woman's Day fabric from March 2013, Cameroon Woman's Day Fabric (also from 2013), and a Uniwax fabric from Ivory Coast commemorating peace after the recent violence in 2012. I bought these fabrics on my travels in 2012-2013, planning to make something out of them (maybe pillows). But I love having them on display in a frame, especially considering their meaning!

8. A photo from a trip to the Gambia with friends in 2011. We were descending huge canoes to cross from Banjul to Brikama, and out of nowhere came these men hoisting us on their shoulders (without asking first). Actually, getting ON the ferry, they literally came up behind us and stuck their heads between our legs without warning! It was startling, to say the least. So glad my "Queen Kim" moment was captured on camera. Sidenote: I posted this photo on Instagram awhile back and someone commented that the guy carrying me is probably her cousin! How INSANE is that?!

Photo credit to Julia Ritchey, a dear journalist friend now in Savannah.

9. Another plate from Morocco... but I actually bought this one in the airport in Casablanca, on a layover from France last summer, in 2013. I think this airport is cursed for me... I have misplaced my passport twice in the international terminal waiting for my flight to Dakar. The first, I left it in the bathroom while washing my hands. The second I left it in the restaurant where I ate lunch. But I did get it back both times, so maybe it isn't so cursed after all! ;) By the way, I am known for my travel fiascos; more stories here.

10. And finally... Neige! My beloved yellow labrador, who lives with my mom outside of Boston. I took this picture in 2013, I believe, and just swell with love for my pup every time I take in his regal profile. Neige is 12 now, which is very old for labradors. In 2003, my mom and I spent a week at a bed and breakfast in the South of France. The owner had two labs, one named Neige, and my mother fell in love. Pregnant with my brother at the time, she returned home intent to have our own lab! And so we added Neige to the family, right before my brother Paul. Let's just say those first few years were never devoid of excitement ;)

What can we conclude? I love Morocco!

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