A68 is a dynamic print project involving artists David Faithfull, Jane Hyslop and writer nick-e melville that examines the boundaries and intersections, past and present, of the historic market town of Dalkeith focussing on Dalkeith Estate. All three contributors were brought up in the town, with the estate familiar to their pasts and central to the project’s heart. The Duke’s Dyke, a wall which once completely surrounded the estate,is a potent symbol. Today it is seen to be crumbling and controversially bisected by the Dalkeith bypass,the re-classified A68, which historically was the main road south and was built alongside the Roman road into Scotland. The project’s collaborative investigations consider the past and present, creating images and texts to depict divisions and contrasts both physical and social encapsulating the essence of the area as it continues to change.
Hyslop’s contributions include The Orangery, a large screen printed plan of the Orangery at Dalkeith, once full of exotic plants but derelict at the time of the project. She underlines the emptiness of the current structure contrasted with the profusion of indigenous plants that now surround it. This work was a collaboration with nick-e-melville who provided texts to underline this division between ‘the flowers’ and ‘the weeds’ which reflects the social division that the Duke’s Dyke imposed.
The series of books Sundry Persons for Weeding the Gardens, also with contributions from nick-e-melville, identify and celebrate women who were employed by the estate seasonally to weed the gardens as mentioned in E. M. Cox’s book, A History ofGardening in Scotland, 1935.Through research into the Buccleuch Estate papers Hyslop was able to identify these female workers from wage books where they were described in a very disparaging way as ‘sundry persons for weeding the gardens’. She celebrates their names and elevates them through her work.
A68 was initially exhibited at Impact 8, Dundee, 2013.