In the afternoon, I gave a talk about my residency at the Pier Arts Centre. The room was full, with a mixed audience of local people, archaeologists and others from the site. After giving some background to my work and why I wanted to come to the Ness of Brodgar, I showed the work collected to date and then spoke about how I hope to develop it when I get back in my studio. The feedback was good and my interest in the everyday process of the archaeology was seen as a positive contribution.
While waiting for the beginning of the talk, I looked round the galleries at the Pier Arts Centre. They have a wonderful permanent collection, bequeathed by Margaret Gardiner, which includes inspiring work by Peter Lanyon, Sean Scully and Ben Nicolson. Seeing these has given me some insight into how I should tackle an installation in the empty showcase on site.
Monday, Day 17 on site
Winds of up to 50 mph made it difficult to stand up, let alone work on site. But, indoors, I found an empty table, recently vacated by ‘The Lab’, which I have adopted as my studio. It’s very useful for hosting my portrait sitters, has a good view of the site and loch and provides some space to work outside my sketchbooks.
Views across the dig site and Loch Harray in the wind. My portable scanner is unable to portray the subtleties of the sky…
Todays portraits of Professor Mark Edmonds and Jo Bourne of Structure 8
Experimenting with red soil and bone on a plank
Tuesday, Day 18
Calmer weather so getting out on site was easier – to do some drawing and forage for materials for my installation. Indoors, I learned more about rock pigments with Martha, the Rock Lady, and drew another portrait.
A view of Trench X, looking across to Loch Stenness with Hoy on the horizon.
Amazing colours available from rock pigments. Some of them have two colours in one piece. The rocks have visible layers where the silts and clays were laid down during their formation.
Today’s portrait of Claire Copper, supervisor in Structure 10.
I have started a collection of found objects for my installation, including rocks, earth, and more modern items used on site. Tomorrow I hope to begin an assemblage.