Recently I did a job in one of Melbourne's finest suburbs for a lady whom I will call, for the sake of this story, June. Moving from a very large family home into a very large (but smaller) apartment inevitably means a re-assessment of what to keep and what not to. But June's much loved art collection was never going to be high up on her down-sizing priority list.
Consequently, when I was called in it was a case of too many pictures and not nearly enough walls to hang them on. So after carefully populating every available apartment wall with her very favourite paintings, etchings and engravings, we then set about hanging more pictures in her entrance foyer. Now technically this was a public access area, but this tenacious lady had managed to get Body Corporate approval. We even continued hanging down into the stairwell until at last it seemed like we were done. But then June discovered, in an unopened box, a stunning set of framed antique Chinese woodblocks prints. They had to be hung; but where to put them? There was seemingly nowhere left.
June then suggested "well, we'll just have to hang them in the basement car park!” Well it wasn't exactly the car park but rather the lift entrance foyer of the car park; and there was a good sized gently curving wall that might just do the trick. But then another dilemma; I discovered there were only 11 images from an original set of 12 - 4 horizontal (landscape) aspect and 7 vertical (portrait).
To attempt to hang them in anything other than a random layout seemed impossible, but the style of these images cried out for them to be hung into a conformed and if possible, symmetrical shape. As with any matching set of images I kept moving them around trying to find a balance and discernable shape like some sort of oversize Rubik’s Cube.
Finally I had one of those 'ahaah' moments. Photographed below is the design I settled on; somehow, it just seemed to work. June was thrilled and even her bemused neighbors ("she's hung pictures where?") were impressed.
I was just relieved because, I have to tell you, I used to hate Rubik’s Cubes.