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Field Notes - Paris and the Study of Surfaces

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Paris and the Study of Surfaces

Paris. Intoxicating, beautiful and a place that inevitably captures your heart.

On a recent visit, what struck me alongside the tolling of the cathedral bells and the blooms bursting from window boxes were the textures and surfaces that create the fabric of the city and thus, our experiences. Snapshots that recall sensory memories.

The rooftops of the city provide an extraordinary colour palette, the roof tiles of slate and zinc punctuated by terracotta chimneys and dormer windows.

The intricately carved white travertine of the Basilica Sacre Coeur at Montmartre, delicate patterns made all the more entrancing by areas of dark discolouration.

The soaring columns within Notre Dame, highly polished in parts by the touch of thousands of hands across the centuries.

The combination of coloured marbles alongside brilliant gold within the State Apartment of Chateau du Versailles.

Timber floorboards in a chevron design; a brass floor vent against natural timber boards and an aged painted skirting board.

Peeling paint from tall stonework walls, down tight alleyways of neutral colours with quiet subtle depth.

The low arcades of the Place des Vosges, with its red brick and stone vaulted archways, timber doorways, their bolts and locks. Symmetrical – the repetition soothing as well as inviting.

Surfaces create a snapshot of a city – it’s beauties and the stories it holds.

Jen Rudland teaches at the Uocmas Design School.

 All photo credits: Jen Rudland.

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Field Notes

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