Monday 2 October 2017

The Chalet

"On Saturdays we took our bath."

Part 2, Chapter 5 of Insectual

The Chalet (page 130)

This is a sketch that I love.  Mother has reunited her three children in the aluminium wash tub. This is her expression of duty and love.  She could not embrace her children and give all three of them a hug or have them cuddle up on her, at the same time.  In my German childhood these feelings were not expressed.  But mother was orderly and tidy and everything functioned according to the clock.  The clothes are thrown on one chair; this was much against her discipline.  We had to fold our clothes in the evening.  The tub is overflowing with water.  In this chalet there was no running water and the water then was thrown out  the window.  I am showing you the original Bavarian chalet where I grew up:
The four bowls on the chest of drawer in the background might mean wholeness and harmony.  Maybe in the four pots symbolically dwell the four elements that make life on earth liveable: fire earth, water and air.  But they were always filled with food.  Food (love) is simmering on the wooden stove and in the bowl on the other chest of drawer are three apples.  It is difficult to see them and I checked out the original drawing which size is 7 x 5” or 18 x 13 cm, much bigger than the reproductions in the book.    
Seems this image impressed me so much that later in 2007 I painted a similar image on canvas: «Saturday afternoon« . This time only two children are in the bathtub.  The third child is lying on the sofa, reading.   This image is reproduced in a 2016 catalogue of Gina Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel.
"Saturday afternoon", 2007 16 x 20", 41 x 51 cm


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