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BARBICAN LIFE


concept. In places, you can discover miniature gardens in between the tiles. A tuft of moss, and a little forest of grass blades, remind us that the plants will win in the end: “The grass will grow over your cities”, and it’s already started.


The drain covers present a puzzle. They are a recurring feature of the podium, particularly under Andrewes and Speed Houses. Many of them have colourful paint marks. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who knows how these


coloured paint marks originated. What are they for? I have all sorts of theories and no data. Were they, for example, a security marking system, in the days of the IRA bombs in London? It must have been quite a complicated system, as there are examples of red, blue, green and yellow marks in different combinations on different drain covers. They make gritty abstract patterns, so maybe they are simply decorative, results of urban art, now abandoned. If anyone has a


recollection of a drain-painting episode, I would be most interested to hear from you.


The closer I look, the more I see. There is enough here for a myriad of projects: a story behind each artefact, a landscape on every podium tile.


Jane Northcote’s photographic exhibition runs from January 4th to January 25th 2012 in the Barbican Library, admission free, open normal Library hours. For more information, please contact Jane at 162 Cromwell Tower, or by email: Jane@JaneNorthcote.com


Interior Barbican detail


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