I thought this presentation had some real potential as a conversation subject in terms of model railways. We are masters of a scene “frozen in time” as Kentridge describes and I wonder what we could do to move the finished layout toward a record of the scene’s creation itself as William Kentridge describes when he speaks of a Jackson Pollock painting: a “painting of painting”. What evidence of movement could we record on our layouts?
A terrific first option is to weather the elements in the scene. Going beyond a wash of thinned colours, when we add dents and scrapes to the sides of a gondola we create evidence that the car has carried scrap before and wasn’t always unloaded carefully. We build in other evidence with trails of oil dribbled along the track recording the movement of trains over the mainline.
Could we go further? In the scenes that we build around the railroad itself how could we provide further evidence of the people and their lives in the worlds we create? I think this needs to fit somewhere between “women hanging washing” forever frozen in time and an animated cattle loading dock.
This history layer extends our layout by providing context in the form of the role it plays in the community it serves.