I’ve been photographing examples of fretwork in Jamaica’s architecture for several months now. My fascination with the art form goes back to my childhood and the house I grew up in. Fretwork, similar to the one below, decorated the transoms – the space above the doors – and allowed air to flow freely through the house.
Fretwork is ornamental work that is made up of three dimensional interlacing designs. It has been around for more than 3,000 years. The Egyptians used inlays that were fretted in their furniture, and fretwork has been popular in Europe and North America since the 1800s.
Fretwork would have come to Jamaica around the same time. Examples can still be seen on official buildings that were constructed following the Georgian style, as well as private homes.
Below are some examples of fretwork I’ve captured.
These panels at Westgate Shopping Centre in Montego Bay, captured my attention. I’ve been shopping here almost every week for more than a year and had no idea until I began this post that they depicted the Sam Sharpe rebellion, which took place in 1831. Sharpe, a preacher, was born in the parish of St. James, and is one of Jamaica’s National Heroes.
The work was designed by Margaret Robson and Will Robson in collaboration with architect, Cosmo Whyte. It was built by Magic Toys.
Fretwork can be found on gables and on window coolers.
These details add beauty and character to the buildings they adorn.
What kinds of architectural details do you look for when you travel?
This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.
This week, I’m also linking up with the Friday Daydreaming series organized by Becca at Rwethereyetmom. Hope to see you there!