Den, Mikki Gleave, 2015.Drawing and digital print.
And so, the journey continues. In Poetics of Space, Bachelard discusses that everyone dreams of a nest, a hut or a place where we can retreat too. Images such as this have a great power over the imagination, they are mixed with legend and memory containing depth to which personal experiences add colour and texture. I began to think of dens, created in hidden spaces and how, as a child, there is nothing more exciting than making a den. Haven’t we all, at some point, made a den in a wardrobe, a cupboard or an outside place?, (perhaps in an old hut or an opening discovered in the woods, constructed out of branches and twigs). Dens provide the child with hours of innocent fun, allowing the imagination to be free, away from the adults talk of seemingly mundane chatter. There is of course a darker side to this and yes an opposite, (there always is). Dens can manifest into hidden places where darker things can happen. As childhood turns the corner and meets up with the adolescent, dens start to be constructed in order to experiment with less innocent things. The den becomes a place where we want to keep secrets, where we want to shut the outside world out. As adulthood hits us in the face and we have to conform to everyday living, we perhaps think of a place like Den, to lock the hustle and bustle out. Notice in the image, the doorway is covered with braches and twigs, (can you smell the foliage and mustiness?). I am keeping you out, yet aren’t you wondering what’s in there and if you crawled in, what would you find? . You are beginning to create the narrative within your imagination. And, what lies behind the door only you know! Keep tuned in for the next update.