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Walking Overview

Hidden Language, Hidden Trails

About the trails

Parasite Ceramics and Dorchester Business Improvement District (DBID) are pleased to announce the launch of Hidden Language, Hidden Trails. A new art installation for the town of Dorchester to enhance the walking experience for visitors and to encourage less car journeys in the centre of town.

Using the concept of time to tell the story of Dorchester’s rich history, Parasite Ceramics are creating a series of bespoke clocks, strategically placed in shop windows and other tourist attractions for visitors to seek out during a visit to the town. There are six trails to look out for; Nature, Food & Drink, Street Language, Art & Literature, Body & Mind and Haunted History.

Each clock contains a word taken from A Glossary of the Dorset Dialect, written by William Barnes, as well as visual references to the local history and area. Personal memories collected from residents during the research phase are also included, when the people of Dorchester were asked to light a candle and share their memories during the Winter Solstice of 2012.

You can also keep updated or ask for help (if you need it) locating some of the plate clocks by following us on twitter @DorchesterBID and on facebook at Dorchester, Thomas Hardy Country.

Research for the project

The Ceramics team visited Dorchester on a number of occasions in 2011/2012 to carry out research into people’s knowledge about and attitudes to Dorchester as a place to visit, live and grow up. This led to the idea of using the Dorset dialect and landmark locations around Dorchester. This culminated in an installation appearing in South Street on 22nd December 2012.

On the shortest day of the year the people of Dorchester were asked to light a candle and place it somewhere of significance for them on a large map of the town in exchange for a written memory of Dorchester. Each hand bone china candle holder was printed with a couplet from the poem ‘The Year Clock’. It is a poem about the passing of the seasons written in Dorset dialect by the poet William Barnes.

The following is a time lapse video of the event.

Walking Distance Dorchester from Parasite Ceramics on Vimeo.

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