Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
On Sun 11th Nov 2012 i took part in an event called no man’s land. Conceived by John McKiernan of Platform – 7 the planning and communication prior to this event was designed to be deliberately bureaucratic and difficult. The event was to provide a platform by which the public could consider their opinions on conflict. With 10 poets, ten musicians and ten scupltures, across 10 London Underground Stations this event was fraught with miscommunications and the possibility, even up to the final moment, that it would not happen at all.
As i travelled to London that day, from Ramsgate, i felt an odd detachment from everything going on round me. I listened in on conversations about museums and design exhibitions that people were going to and i couldn’t help thinking that i was going to do something special, something that would stay with me for a long time and i felt quite alone. This day was significant, no mans land would be the first Resting Place for the pillowcases.
All the sculptures were placed in the disused Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station. Inaccessible to the public the sculptures were in their very own no man’s land. The public could only view them from the station above and i am sure wondered what it was all about. And then, slowly, as performers finished their stints at the underground stations, they began to return to Waterloo Station to join the sculptures and sculptors. An energy was suddenly ignited in that disused space. Poets began to make impropmtu perfomances intersperced with musicians and artists. The gathering looking down gradually grew as curiosity got the better of the public. And we all watched and listened and looked.
War has the ability to tear apart, but it also has the ability to bring together and although i cannot possibly compare no-man’s-land with war i can certainly say that out of that event came a feeling of comradeship and common purpose. A truly remarkeable day and a truly remarkeable event.