Open shutters, locked gates

Open shutters on Danish building

Open exchange -- 2010

Many of the old buildings here in the tropics have wooden shutters over their windows, but no glass or screens. When the shutters are opened to let in the light, there is also an open exchange of air, insects, and more. What is inside can go out and what is outside can come in.

How different is the message from the old gate with its heavy chain and lock, surely stronger than the gate itself!

lock and chain on gate

Is there a key? -- 2010

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12 Comments on “Open shutters, locked gates

  1. Great contradictory images Don. I often wonder when I see these open shutters and no windows or screens, how it is that aside from an entomologist, who can live this way? If I have a teeny tear in my screen and it rains, the entire house fills up with winged things that appear out of nowhere and could fill the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag in one shot.
    The bottom photo and it’s perspective is a good example of killing a mouse with an elephant gun. Leave the chain, just break the fence with a tweezer.

    Your image selections are always so unexpectedly interesting in their source.

  2. Thanks Bonnie! I’m with you… I’ll take screens on my windows, thank you.
    There must have been something really valuable behind that gate to merit so much chain.

  3. Hi Donald, I particularly love this yellow and blue window one. Perhaps because it’s one of my favorite color combos. I also like the tall red shape–the Jumbie thingie–it looks very iconic and powerful.

  4. Thanks Jala! Yes, I see… that yellow/gold and greenish blue are colors you use, aren’t they? both the images you mention are iconic in a way, and symbolic of this place.

  5. If I had a few of your photos, I’d be sure to think up some weird stuff to write about.

    I love that first one.

    The second makes me think that I need a car alarm on my van. hee hee!

  6. Hi planetross! You know, I don’t really think you need my photos to give you strange ideas… but thanks anyway!! No, not a car alarm. Everybody has those, and they always go off at the worst time (like the middle of the night). How about some big chains on each door? You’d be a real hit cruising around Japan — and they don’t make much noise.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I’m with Bonny about the gate. The image seems to just scream “FUTILITY”!

    I like the colours in the first shot and I think that you could have even gone further with abstraction.

  8. Thanks, razzbuffnik! Many of the government buildings here in Christiansted are painted in this color scheme, some with very attractive patches of peeling paint and mold…
    The chain on that fence is kind of funny, especially when you realize what was on the other side — an empty lot with unmowed grass over a foot high. Boy, I’d like to get in there and steal some of that! I suppose they wanted to discourage unauthorized “camping”.

  9. The perspective on the chain and the fence is my favorite part! One summer in Banff, British Columbia, it was so hot in room I had to open the window. No screen. I called down to the desk. They said, “We don’t have insects here, m’am.”

    Really? I did sleep with the window open but I can’t believe Banff doesn’t have a bat or two!

  10. Thanks, Pat, that perspective almost looks like the gate goes down into the water, doesn’t it?… We have friends here who live in a house without windows. I mean, there are holes for the windows and shutters, but no glass or screens. Except, unlike Banff, we do have bugs. In fact these people live in the rainforest where there are all kinds of mosquitos, bugs, centipedes, roaches as big as cars (affectionately called “mahagony bugs”), gongolas, bats, cats and other creepy-crawlies that get into the house, especially at night. Not for me!

  11. Loriann, thanks for visiting! That wall was massive, and the whole building was open (doors and windows)! Interesting contrast.

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