Up above, the sound is like a collision of thunder arriving from north and south. Traffic heading to unknown destinations, running up and down the asphalt spine of the M90 motorway. Here, underneath the flyover, the concrete walls have become vast, abstract-expressionist assemblages. Layer upon layer of weather effects, pollution spray, pigment and human mark-making. It is only the walker who will notice these. Why, would you dwell, to look, if travelling in a car?
Has any disorientated walker followed the arrow east TO DIVIT, or west TO THE RO?
Unusual names – DIVIT, THE RO.
Consulting any official map will be of little help. There will be no record of these places. Perhaps we are standing on a territorial boundary line. DIVIT being a local name for Inverkeithing to the east. THE RO is Rosyth to the west. That human compulsion to establish borders and territories. Points of entry or exit. Lines pronouncing otherness, even when invisible and local.
Not far away, a universally recognised symbol. How many times has a heart shape been inscribed on a surface across time and space? From Cro-Magnon cave walls, via the ancient Greeks – a symbol of life and morality and possibly an association with Dionysus and love – to the more familiar symbol of romantic love emerging in the 1200s. Anyone using social media will recognise ❤ ❤ <3.
Under this motorway flyover, a black heart in brush stroke, partly over-painted in white. The shape immediately recognisable, a symbol we can all ‘understand’. But does the nuance of its meaning remain with the mark maker? We connect through common language but subtleties of difference always escape, to be either celebrated or repressed.
Is that a human figure we see enclosed within the heart? Possibly kneeling? Who can say?This small detail, on the patina of concrete canvas, remains a daub of mystery. A symbol as elusive and remote from the casual observer as the Pictish symbols, found further up the Fife coast, carved in the Wemyss Caves around 600 – 700 AD.
The difference between the who and the what at the heart of love, separates the heart. It is often said that love is the movement of the heart. Does my heart move because I love someone who is an absolute singularity, or because I love the way that someone is?
Now playing: Julian Priester Pepo Mtoto – Love, Love
3 replies on “Underneath the M90”
The light grey scratchings look more like attempted erasures to me. The bottom part of the heart is left as a palimpsest because of the top. If these are removals, the question is, of what?
Thanks Jeff, interesting comments. Will have a closer look next time I pass.
[…] An earlier post, underneath a different section of the M90, can be found here. […]