Friday, 8 November 2019
Saturday, 2 November 2019
There is one spot in The Workhouse, Southwell with graffiti. It's in the outside space for men, a design flaw that was noted at the time and led to a redesign of layout for subsequent workhouses. In this tiny space hidden from the masters window, men have scored lines that could be a record of days passing, what looks like a game and two sundials. In this tiny space these men have left their mark, a record of their lives and presence. They took a great risk in doing this but the lines are not rushed and care is obvious.
Friday, 1 November 2019
Last Sunday I visited The Workhouse, Southwell, a National Trust property in Nottinghamshire. This particular workhouse, though harsh from the vantage point of today was well organised & considerate towards those under its roof, providing hot meals, medical care, immunisation & an education for its children.
Much time & money has been invested in the visitor experience on the 1st & 2nd floors but I found myself drawn to the upper floor, encountering breathing space after information overload. Each layer of paint held a story, sunlight traced time across walls, the floors revealed rows of bed sized shadows: the past in the present, ripe with my projections and romanticism. I thought about the people who slept in these rooms but they are were impossible to conjure from the safety of today.