Kathy Prendergast


The hippocampus is the part of the brain that has a role in storing memory and spacial coding and when a prospective cabbie learns The Knowledge, their hippocampus enlarges. It is a tantalizing thought that memory can occupy space and can have volume and weight.

For the Cabbies’ Shelters Project I wanted to concentrate on the idea of the city as an organism, the cabbies as ferrymen and the cabshelters as locations of navigational expertise . To trace the 320 routes of The Knowledge along the streets and roads of London is also to trace the information that enlarges the hippocampus. My idea was to see what this would look like. Was there a visual equivalent between the map of London and the cabbies’ brain?  Is this information a reflection of the inside or the outside, microcosm or macrocosm?

I have made a drawing  in translucent ink showing the criss-crossing, overlapping and layering of the routes and the connections between them. The drawing is a tracing of journeys through the city and visual evidence of the data absorbed by the cabbies’ brains. I want the completed drawing of the undertaken journeys to refer to both the city as an organism and the synapses of the brain and the possibility that they could be the same thing.