I’ve spent a great deal of time in this tiny Wiltshire hamlet. Back when it had a post office, my sister and I would go through the dark black door to the sound of a bell, and, after choosing our chocolate, be dismissed with a matronly “thank you” – the ‘you’ rising and lengthening until we reached the door again. The smell of wood polish and confectionary, sweet and heady, sweeping past us as we leave.
It’s hard to describe how completely the sense of smell is carved into my subconscious, and how those scents are unknown, until one of them explodes inside my head and my heart starts melting, and my back fizzes with something trying to reach back to when I first caught that smell.
Places like Oare do that to me. They tug at my memories, pulling and pulling and pulling, but the place they try to take me back to is not there anymore. It isnt the 1970’s. The house martins are gone. The apples are no longer in the shed. The broad beans have already been eaten. Somebody else is living in that house.
70 x 50 cm. Acrylic and oil pastel on paper (300gsm Fabriano).