One of the main themes throughout the exhibition is the concept of an underneath and the language used around this space. The type of language we see used in discussion with this space is one of code. As access into the underneath is restricted for specific occupations, people who have the knowledge surrounding the embedded information, the language used in correspondence between these groups is also restrictive. As with the manholes and exposed earth, we often overlook this language.

We are often surrounded by harbourers of information within our daily routines and due to lack of understanding or observation these elements can often pass us by.

I'm interested in what these interjections communicate, other than the language that they inhabit, how they make a note of the people within these spaces, their knowledge, their hand writing and their person hood. However fleeting or permanent the mark may be.

Throughout the exhibition you can see multiple examples of this language embedded in the surface of the pieces, the majority of which comes from the coded language used between workmen or the coloured plates used on the faces of the marker posts.

The marker post became for me a signifier of communication relating to the below, a structure to utilise to communicate what lies beneath the surface and similarly to the spray painted codes on the pavement, a tool for the sharing of information.

The language used between road workers is not the only form of language used on the marker posts. I explored other devices used to signify a presence below, and found an answer in the work of stone masons on the headstones of welsh graves. Here, a structure used to demote the presence and existence of a person held the direct presence of another. Not only in the style or design implemented by the stone mason but in the mistakes. The language used tells a story of the maker, he leaves his mark like the workers sprawling their hand writing on the pavement. The presence of his mistakes in spelling and grammar eternalises him in the headstone just as the workmen leave their presences of the pavement.

In both cases we expect an element of coherence and regiment, in the language in grammar, in the placement of paving and manholes and in each we instead have access to the creator and worker.

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Charlotte
Dawson