“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception” – Aldous Huxley
This quote from Huxley is the answer to the question, ‘Why is she always standing in front of doors everywhere she travels?!’. Being a designer, architecture, and artistry has always held sway over me, and both when applied correctly to a door, take my breath away! I always end up capturing doors on my travels. So much so that I have an Album – Doors of the World!
There is so much meaning behind each door, like portals of life, we open these doors with confidence or close them when in doubt. Some lead us to new adventures, to experience life on the other side. While some; are just meant for us.
The doors in these pictures even to this day, speak so profoundly to me. Some of the doors have me in front of them and some besides, each has a story to tell; through my expressions, my body language, through me!
Image 1 is a door within an old Jewish cemetery near Pinkas Synagogue in Prague. The door is dull and the beaten black metal façade looks withered, which is mirrored in my face! My body language is serious and there is no smile. There was a sadness surrounding the place and I could feel it – so did the door?!?
Image 2 – A door at the Saint Stephens Cathedral, Vienna. I am so happy, spreading my limbs to reach out to the magnanimous structure above me. Trying to fit into the largeness of the Frame, the door, the arches, and the carving. Oh, I still remember taking this picture like it was yesterday! I was in awe of this Architectural marvel! Built of Limestone – the cathedral is more than 400 feet tall at its highest point. Considered a symbol of Vienna and the most significant Gothic building in Austria. It’s a mixture of several architectural styles while the oldest parts are Romanesque, the two towers are in Gothic and Renaissance Architectural styles, and the interior is Baroque.
Image 3 is one of the doors in Vienna. A heavily cladded wooden door ornamented with glass and metal. The language of this design made me pose, all suave and fitting to the door attribute. Like the door commanded me to stand with grace.
Image 4 was a squat door at the Prague castle, you can visualize the height of the door as I sit with ease right outside waiting for someone to just open the door and let me in. The ornate hinges also match the curls in my hair!
These travels always inspire me and the images I capture, always take me back to the same place. Each country has such rich culture and heritage in all aspects of its existence, and that’s something I am inherently drawn to.
Image 5 is the main door for a Home that belongs to an actress. She loves the color orange and Sunflowers. We made this door with the Mother of Pearl precious stone inlay, with the different natural colors from yellow to white, and designed a Coral stone handle in the center of the flower. The complete door is gloss laminated as it had to show the shiny characteristics of my client. The other doors inside the house carried the mother of pearl in different patterns though.
Image 6 is a Gujarati household, with rich cultural values. The door is made of brass metal with filigree motifs inset in a heavy walnut wood frame. It completely describes the home inside and the people living in it. We carried forward the motif and wood into the house for all rooms which became the central theme.
Image 7 – is a New York-themed apartment. White and wood and the door are large, heavily cladded in wood; 2 door openings showcase a large villa. The size of the door and the textures are made to suit the inside and the outside of the house. The door gives the visitor a clue to the largeness of the house inside and sets the code of conduct.
We do a lot of research before we hit the drawing board, making concepts as per the brief; brainstorming; there is a lot to conspire while designing, and we gather inspiration from everywhere. And at its heart, the culture, ritual and tradition inspire us the most. The old Indian household ritual where our parents would ask us to go lock the door at night, hearing that melodic click of the lock and settling down onto the sofa and sitting in front of the TV with the family. That feeling of peace and safety, a door at its finest!
We must be open to receiving. We see things all the time, but we see them clearly when we are aware. Be aware of your surroundings, they are talking to you all the time. These are hidden learnings – Sometimes silent and most times so evident like the Doors of the World!