As part of the researching prep I've been doing for Oh Brother, I thought I should probably work on sense of place, something I've struggled with in the past. I mostly end up drawing talking head comics or just drawing labeled objects floating in space. I want people to read my book and without even realising it know they are in suburban South Australia, near the beach. Or at the very least, the burbs.
So I've been drawing up some maps of my childhood homes. I only had two and as a kid I always thought that was too many. I remember when dad told me that we were moving, I was bouncing on the trampoline at the time and I just stop bouncing and kind stood there, on the elasticated surface dumbfounded.
Then I found out we were only moving two streets away and in the new place I would I far cooler room. Plus the guy who lived in it previously had carved a unicorn out of slate a stuck it on the wall. He also shot pigeons in the backyard, soooo yeah.
Anyway, house number one, 19 Balmoral Ave. They was no google earth image for my old house (once it was sold it was knocked and replaced by a dreadful unit type house - this is defs an objective view of the new house and has nothing to with someone knocking .down my childhood). So as there was no image available I had to go from memory and, even though the yard was long and large, I feel like my brain has made this map with a touch of nostalgia and a 9-year-olds perspective.
Next up we have 63 Somers St. It was even in the same postcode has Balmoral. It had a beautiful big weeping willow tree in the front yard (recently chopped down as it was unsafe) that house my first (and only) tree house. The roof was flat and perfect for sitting on. You climb up the house in various locations and to get onto it. There wasn't much yard (nowhere near as much as balmoral) but by the time we moved in I was becoming a teen and bigger bedroom was a much more exciting prospect.
In the Somers street house, I was given the old lounge room (with one of the many additions a new lounge room was added leaving a rather large front room with air con - the only aircon in the house when we first moved in) much to my delight it was huge and filled possibilities! I would always (and still do) use my room, in fact any space I inhabit, as extension of me and what I'm thinking. You could not see the walls as every inch would be covered with movie tickets, pictures either drawn by me or artists that I loved and had cut out of magazines. When I moved out of parents home, the amount of bluetak (and peeled off paint -whoops) that we got off those walls, could have been used to put up all the gig posters in Adelaide for months.
As these room were extensions of myself, like me, they would change and grow. Move around, get rigged into the haven of my insular teenage world. I would draw endless floor plans and use my feet to measure how big things were (I refuse tape measure for some unknown reason - impatience most probably) to see if they would fit in there newly designated homes.
This new, ex-lounge, bedroom was amazing, It had hardwood floors, air-con and most importantly an old seventies cocktail bar! Which I swiftly transformed into my own version of the Three Broomsticks (a la Harry Potter). Mine was only called the two broomstick, due to lack of spare cleaning tools. One of which was actually a mop. Anyway, I loved the wormhole that was this bedroom and took great pride in making it the haven for all comics loving, music nerds who play sport too. Below are some of the many styles that my room has been in.
And as a bonus - here is a picture of me out the front of the amazing willow tree just before it got chopped. I loved her so much! (note: the treehouse has been taken out because the tree had started to rip it apart with it's growing strength! Nature is amazing).
Talk to y'all soon.