HEATHERMATTHEW

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One door closes

 La Filature du Pont de Fer door ~ holding up a worker's rights poster from my woven artist book

La Filature du Pont de Fer door ~ holding up a worker's rights poster from my woven artist book

Today I packed up and left Lasalle and my residency at La Filature du Pont de Fer, locking the door and handing back the key. A bittersweet moment as I left this place which has nurtured my artistic growth. It led me to think about doors, open and closed. 

I took many photos of doors when I was in Lasalle. They were each original, like the windows with their shutters, these held the promise of secret lives lived within. One morning I walked along the path behind la filature, the road of the debtors, so called as it runs behind the houses and if you didn't want to be seen in the street for any reason, you could walk the back of the houses to get out of town.

Along this path I found the most beautiful outside door within a stone wall. It led to a garden, but the gate was padlocked and the garden unkept. Some doors are like that, giving a glimpse of what could be but isn't. 

 Garden gate on the debtors road near la filature.

Garden gate on the debtors road near la filature.

The last pages of my woven artist book were doors. I took tissue paper outside, walking up and down the street making frottage rubbings of ornate doorknobs, metal door hinges with knobs, brass letter box slots and knockers in the shape of hands. These were glued onto the charcoal rubbings I made of the floor of the studio on the first day I arrived. Together these made up the two doors in my large woven book, my entry into and out of la filature.

Doors are portals into other worlds. You walk through them and you are immediately inside another space, someone's home, studio, shop, office or school. Customs doors open to allow you into another country, museums into another time, planetariums into another galaxy. You just have to want to walk through them. 

 Mysterious wooden door, Lasalle.

Mysterious wooden door, Lasalle.

When I was first at university and could no longer stay at the accomodation I was living in, I didn't know what to do or how to move forward. My friend's mother said to me, "when one door closes, another opens". She was right, I moved into a shared house and my life continued and improved for the better. I met new people, became more independent and grew up.

When we close the door on what we know or have grown into, moving onto the next place, the next space, the next phase of living is sometimes daunting. As we said goodbye to Lasalle, to France and boarded our plane to London I felt that door closing, that chapter of a really fast and compelling story which I entered into for two weeks until it came to its satisfying end.  I will make a book of my residency from these daily writings, add some illustrations and photos of my work and treasure it. Already there is talk of another visit in a couple of years time so who knows, perhaps I still hold the key to that door in my heart.

 Goodbye La Filature du Pont de Fer.

Goodbye La Filature du Pont de Fer.

This project was assisted by a grant from Create NSW, an agency of the New South WalesGovernment. The NSW Artists' Grant is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

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