My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Friday, 30 December 2011

Gothic Style, Architecture and Modernity

This is another old blog entry being recycled and scheduled. I have a nasty cold and am unwell at the moment, so I am trying to concentrate on getting better rather than on new material. That said, I am scheduling new blogs as well as recycled older entries. This blog is from February 11, 2008.

I've seen some gorgeous examples of gothic architecture recently, and some less successful modern attempts. I am close on believing that 'Modern Gothic' is an impossibility and oxymoron that can not be turned into a feasible actuality, but there are a few things that hold me back from this decision.

The obvious thing, one might imagine, is the proffusity of Goth items, but actually, this is not a factor. Many of the Goth (as in the modern subculture, not as in the architectural/artistic style I am simultaneously discussing. As far as this blog goes, 'Goth' refers to the subculture of the dark, and 'Gothic' as to the artistic style.) items I see on sale are tawdry and overly theatrical, with no real beauty, and a tendency to look like caricatures of horror film props, rather than actual accessories.

That said, if one looks hard enough, there are things to find that are a long way from fancy dress and Halloween, items of real craftsmanship, and it is the fact that there is still real craftsmanship in the world that gives me hope. The gothic style is grand, but it relies on top-level craftsmanship, and a balance between grandeur and detail to work, and anything else ends up looking overly theatrical, fake, and unconvincing.

I was, as I try to do every week, watching 'Grand Designs' on Saturday [the previous Saturday to February 11th 2008]. I have long dreamed of building my own home, so it intrigues me. This week the house in question was an amalgam of Gothic and modern, and although the building is not finished in the details, and I may be being quick to judge, I am not big fan of the result. I don't think it is an awful building, but I will not be ringing Handel up for a new chorus anytime soon. It has some amazing space, such as the octagonal dining room, and the gorgeous stairwell with the grand oak staircase, and they have made some things work quite well.

I don't think gothic can be done in half-measures, but this is a matter of my personal taste. I personally feel that one must either go for the Gothic gestures such as this family's carved fireplace and gorgeous oak staircase throughout, or go for the modern look throughout a building, and that combining the two is a balancing act too tricky to work unless one approaches the building with a unified modernised gothic style, rather than incorporating individual elements of both.  I, as have mentioned before, rather like traditional buildings. I also like modern buildings, and I think there is some amazing technology around today that gives the opportunity to build some amazing buildings. I'm looking forward towards seeing what will be built through the course of my life, and maybe, if all goes to plan, I can raise enough money to build some sort of scaled down gothic farm/house in the country somewhere... I do not want a mansion, it would be too much upkeep, but I would like a beautiful building, because I think all things should beautiful.

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