Leafy Boundaries, and Where Does It All End?

This boundaries/security project is so interesting, because once I start out looking to see boundaries and methods of security, I find SO much more.

My mother visited this weekend, and we went on a long hike from Brasso Seco Paria to Blanchisseuse. I brought my camera along for the trip, but decided at the last minute not to carry it, based on it’s weight, and the fact that we would be stopping at multiple water sources and a sandy beach. However, with my mind already tuned to look for boundaries, I discovered a whole new type of boundary that had been all around me, that I wasn’t able to see.

Cristo Adonis, our guide for the day hike, told me, as I explained my interest and focus on boundaries, that property was once marked by one specific colorful bush. In this way, these plants were planted at the edge of a person’s property, and denoted the boundary between lands. And here I thought they were just a popular shrub in this country! These plants are all over Trinidad, and while property borders are also recorded on deeds and will all other manners of physical demarcation that I’ve been photographing, the significance of these bushes as a specific boundary is now clear.

In this way though, I am now considering how plants are used as a form of security and boundary. Large, imposing hedges sometimes do more to deter a breech than a low wall, and I’m looking to such examples for more inspiration.

It is really exciting for me to see how this concept of security has expanded already, and I’m anticipating even more growth of my outlook.

Googling “boundaries” brings up a plethora of sites devoted to creating, strengthening and declaring personal boundaries. Images for “security” send me lots of locks, and a few symbols of police forces. Searching with these two words in the photographic sharing database Flickr sends me to a few photos of walls, but then, more often, to photographs of individuals.

And these photos of people take me back to another incident from my mother’s stay. I am fairly heavily bodily decorated, with piercings and two tattoos. My mother constructs these body modifications as boundaries, and methods to garner interest and comments, but maintain distance from “regular” people looking at me. This is a very simple reading of a conversation we had together, but at it’s most simplistic, tattoos and piercings, to some, can also be constructed as a boundary.

With this train of thought, it’s hard not to see EVERYTHING as some method of creating boundaries and security. A friend of mine jokingly calls sunglasses “hater blockers” but this could actually be used seriously to argue that even sunglasses prove to be a form of separation and boundary.

Kid's Carnival

So as you can well tell by now, this concept of security and of boundaries has become a consuming exploration, which changes the way I’m seeing everything. I’d like to figure out ways to more clearly state with images the reasoning behind displaying it as a boundary or security method, but I’m also quite curious to see how individuals viewing some of the images agree or disagree with my categorization.


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