The Plotting Room

‘No. 11 Group Operations Room in Uxbridge, known as the Battle of Britain Bunker, is preserved as it was on 15 September 1940, when the fate of Britain hung in the balance. The images denote the presence of the personnel who operated in the subterranean network of rooms and corridors. Wooden blocks on the plotting room map symbolise squadrons of Hurricane and Spitfire pilots flying to face the Luftwaffe. Carved initials visible under telephone cables represent layers of time obscuring the past.  A collection of ‘croupier sticks’ stacked in a corner like brooms in a store cupboard once moved units into position across the battle map. Notions of threat and vulnerability are explored. 

The photographs were exhibited as part of London Nights at the Museum of London, 2018. They are part of a wider series entitled Defence Mechanisms which seek to examine spaces and places which are symbolic of the basic need for security and protection.

Luke Watson, 2018