Whilst walking through Camden Town after visiting the Wellcome’s Dirt exhibition, I passed 8 Royal College Street, where young poets Rimbaud and Verlaine briefly lodged in the 1870s. I scraped some doorstep dust into a small plastic bag, watched by a woman in a car. She wound down her window and asked what I was doing. “It’s an art thing,” I explained. “Ah,” she said. Just at that moment a young man came out of number 8, carrying some cleaning items, including a vacuum cleaner.
“May I ask a favour, which you might think a little strange?” I asked. “Of course,” said the young man aimiably. I’ve now got dust from the doorstep and interior of a house connected to two of my favourite poets. Some of it is en route by post to artist Serena Korda, who’s asked for dust contributions which she’s incorporating into house bricks, for her installation Laid To Rest at the Wellcome.
12th September – had a message from Serena Korda to say my dust is now part of brick number 402.