Beneath the surface

Beneath the surface

192 found objects, archival boxes, text

Longmead Estate, Epsom, Surrey

High levels of anti-social behaviour are well documented on the Longmead Estate. Platun’s attempts to get to know the local community through conversations with residents, local historians, community leaders and youth workers all took on a similarly depressingly tone; ‘there is nothing of any value here’. The estate was built on sewage works after the war, and during her residency the old Epsom cluster of psychiatric hospitals were being demolished next to the estate.

Armed with metals detectors, Platun worked with residents in search of social treasure. The ‘finds’ acted as triggers to bring to the surface personal histories and narratives about the community that were of value. Objects that were found by young people were interpreted by elders, and vice versa, unifying different generations on the estate. The residency culminated in an installation of 192 objects, displayed like an archaeological dig. Each object was cleaned and exhibited in it’s own archive box accompanied by the stories it had triggered.

Commissioned by Farnham Maltings