Small gate in a stone wall (Karakul)

Marjolein Katsma

Groningen, Netherlands

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Artist's Description

Share this page Photo © 2009 Marjolein Katsma | Text © 2012 Marjolein Katsma


Tags for this photograph:
karakul, kara kul, qaraqul, murghab, murghob, gorno badakhshan, tajikistan, pamirs, gate, metal, wood, wall, stone, boulder, mud, mud plaster, plaster, cracks, marks, hand marks


A very ordinary gate, closed in an ordinary way (with a boulder), in an equally ordinary wall in Karakul. I could not see behind it, but there are some clues as to what it is for: the gate (or door) is not very large – not large enough to have a smaller door inset – so that suggests it’s not the main entry to a household’s courtyard. The hinge at the top is broken, and ‘replaced’ by a loop of metal wire. The wall is is quite rough, constructed of boulders, with mud used as mortar and also to plaster the surface.

The conclusion is that this wall is part of an enclosure for storage, or for holding livestock; walls of a house are normally neatly plastered, and painted white. This doesn’t look like an expert job either, it’s uneven, and the plaster has numerous cracks, indicating very little (or no) straw was mixed in, which can protect against crack formation and actually make the wall stronger by ‘binding’ the mud plaster. Then again, if it’s not a house wall, it doesn’t need to be that strong.

An interesting detail in the mud plaster: it is obvious that it was applied literally ‘by hand’: the hand marks of smearing the plaster on to the wall are clearly visible.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1


Artwork Comments

  • Hans Bax
  • Marjolein Katsma
  • Marjolein Katsma
  • Hans Bax
  • Marjolein Katsma
  • Hans Bax
  • Marjolein Katsma
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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