dawn lippiatt

Tape MeasurementsTape_Measures.html
Doing TimeDoing_Time.html

perception, deception, inception

Enchanted, she put the incident into her pocket for Clem. It jostled, a bright pebble, against several others : she had had a rewarding day........This was the cream of marriage, this nightly turning out the days pocketful of memories, this deft habitual sharing of two pairs of eyes, two pairs of ears. It gave you in a sense, almost a double life : though never, on the other hand, quite a single one.

Extract from Jan Struther’s, Mrs Miniver (1946)

How could we could share the memories of Trowbridge, past and present? Memories are precious, unique. They shape, describe and substantiate, haunt. They are a validation of life. What are the memories the Town Hall, of those who have worked here, been tried here, loved, lost? 

One of the first things I did in my residency at Trowbridge was mapping the area,  as freehand drawings, just walking and talking to anybody that was happy to chat, listening to their stories and adding these thoughts to my sketches. Despite my fears of getting lost, in the proportions of the drawings, somehow I would find myself surprisingly accurate.

Here the pebbles establish a specific route. But which way do they lead? To the grand entrance of the Town Hall or to the holding cells underneath? Like Hansel and Gretel you make  choices which possibly shape your future. Some pebbles are wrapped, hidden, private, others are fragile and protected in wool/cloth, the foundation elements to local history, Many pebbles are unmarked and I invite the audience to take one of the pens provided, choose a a pebble and write their Trowbridge town memory/thought/impression and return it to the trail.

Post residency I find myself wondering if the ghosts of Trowbridge Town Hall have been as involved in inspiring the work as the artists that produced it :the echoes of music in the ballroom, the caretakers apartment - somehow still habitable -, the bell tower.

More fascinating, were the holding cells and interrogation room downstairs.  As the daughter of a magistrate who chaired both adult and juvenile courts in this very building, the space brought home the responsibility of her work but also the dread the defendants must have felt in this place.  Their fears and anxiety permeate the walls. Here memories are more precious. They carry symbolic weight, they are tugged, manipulated and smashed. They intensify the past history of  Trowbridge, its struggles and its need to find a new and worthy identity.