Bouvier Blue. Just the sound of it puts my mind at rest. Sounds, colours, textures, they all have a frequency and Bouvier Blue is the frequency of intelligent simplicity. Of deep, personal space. For me.
This is an ode to my father. A thank you and reverence for all he loved and for all he let me share of the short twelve years we had together.
My dad was an architect in the robust 50’s and 60’s in Melbourne at a time when design was undergoing an aesthetic revolution. And as a young child, I absorbed timeless design beauty into my DNA. This was an époque when all designs were done by hand, with sharp pencils. And huge drawing boards. And magnificent drawing pins. And heavy in the hand fountain pens with indigo ink and generous nibs. My job was to sharpen the pencils to keep the linear accuracy of my father’s visions. And the walls of his cloistered Bouvier Street office were painted a deep, soulful, elegant blue. Bouvier Blue.
I can smell the pencil shavings, his eau de cologne, and the curved, smooth roll of the architect’s parchment. I remember the silence. Just watching him draw. I was only six years old at the most, but it all smelt like deep, respectful heaven to me.
When my dad died, all I remember of him is smell, sound, touch and feel. The smooth leather of his shoes, his corduroy cap, his silver cufflinks with hunting dogs, his love of classical music, his hand filled pipe and hand rolled cigars, and his generous warm hugs. And the way I felt safe when I was with him.
He knew me.
And with one brushstroke of Bouvier Blue, I can access him. His voice, his presence. His perfectly balanced aesthetic that created houses that would still win design awards today.
I’m sure he is still guiding my path now, looking over my shoulder, whispering ideas, instilling faith. He’d wallow in our Havana perfume, he’d love our roses and even more so, he’d revel in our bravery. I’m sure Clive can make a perfume in his honour.
And we’ll call it Bouvier Blue.