In October 2019, I received an email from a London-based historian, they arranged to meet me for a drink and began to explain a proposition. The first stage of this proposition was the passing on of the drawing above and a key to a room in Bethnal Green. This key opened the door to an office; an office absolutely full of research conducted by a man named Arthur Cobb.
It’s an exploration of a distant civilisation that involves following the trail backwards from Fig. 1. Through the arrangement of physical and written evidence I plan to explain how these two lost souls became trapped in this grayscale wasteland; how they became trapped in ‘The Dustpan’.
I began to consider that perhaps these creatures have a story; they can’t have been born this way, surely this must be some sort of purgatory? It became more and more apparent that the above image was one of the later chapters in a very long story; that this could in fact be an aftermath of an event - some sort of prologue. Things certainly appear desolate and their exact reason for being there isn’t explicitly clear. I realised that in order to put context to this image, to truly uncover the history of The Dustpan, I would have to work backwards and explore it’s neighbouring city and the capital, Ersa (displayed behind title).
I would have to try and piece together their seemingly entwined histories. What curse has been thrust upon these beings to cast them into this liminal stage state? What must a creature do to find themselves occupying this ash limbo? Does the seemingly wealthy city of Ersa have anything to do with these outcasts?