Magazine article Ceramics Art & Perception

Silent Sentinels: The Gateposts of Adil Writer

Magazine article Ceramics Art & Perception

Silent Sentinels: The Gateposts of Adil Writer

Article excerpt

In most human societies, save a few, the boundary is a critical aspect of structuring societies and thereby bringing the order that allows for civilization to progress. They have also, of late, been the point of critical dispute with the crossing of national boundaries by thousands of displaced people. This is not only the great shame of today's civilization, but also marks a change in attitude people have towards each other, and towards other cultures. The points of crossing these boundaries have increasingly become the sites of critical contests.

In more bucolic times, when space was not so critically contested, a boundary was often marked by nothing more than an imaginary line connecting mutually recognized landmarks. This often used be a couple of trees and, in later times with the advent of precise surveying and taxing, perhaps carefully marked boundary stones. The crossing points, however, were clearly expressed to represent the authority that allowed that crossing. Often in grander country estates, the only presence in the landscape of any civilization was pairs of posts that marked the estates crossing points.

In suburban environments where wealthy families gathered around cities and retained extensive parcels of land, the gatepost came to represent the power and prestige of the occupants within. With the actual houses often hidden amidst elaborate gardens and tree cover, the gatepost appeared to represent the personalities of the unseen houses and, therefore, that of the occupants. …

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