waste textures study

In the summer of 2021 I spent a long weekend visiting the Hadrian's Wall area of Northumberland. There, at the Housesteads roman fort remains, there is a remarkably intact example of a roman latrine, where the waterways and tanks are all clearly visible. Waste systems such as how that latrine would've been in its day are, in many ways, utterly repulsive, and yet their active use and upkeep are indicators of an intact society.

In studying the textures at play in their contemporary equivalents, I discovered that components of waste systems like drains and gutters, much like sediment and wood rings, bear indicators of the passage of time, through the staining of metal and the buildup of muck. The dichotomy of grandeur (in the form of a visible presentation of the passage of time and, therein, the continuous progression of the universe and us within it) and repulsion (in the form of, at the core of it all, acknowledging that these are photographs of filthy drains and pipes, textures which we instinctually reject as an evolutionary survival aid amongst other things) and the resulting combined awe and disgust are unique to this subject matter.