Today I discovered micromorphology.
Samples of soil on site are cut and put carefully into small tin boxes or, if larger, wrapped in clingfilm. These are then sent away to be suspended in resin, from which very fine slices are cut to make slides to examine under a microscope. I was shown a photo of a slide of a beautiful pattern of mineral deposits. Clearly micromorphology is a most valuable source of post excavation scientific information – but it is also a process that produces great beauty.
My portrait of micromorphologist, Jo, makes her look too dreamy when, while I was drawing, she was giving me a lively account of the process. But she says my portraits give a sense of the person rather than a photographic likeness. This could be said of my whole project. I am trying to portray a sense of the dig – of being there. So accuracy is not a factor and my random approach is therefore suitable, and will serve the purpose of adding to the site record.
While they take photos and soil samples, I draw the moment.