archaeology - a-n The Artists Information Company

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Week 3, Friday

It is the end of the third week and some archaeologists are leaving, which means making sure I draw and interview people before they go. Drawing portraits is a perfect way to have a sound recorder running to hear my sitter’s stories and views on the […]

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Week 3, Thursday

My relationship with the artefacts found on the dig. I need to be clear about this.  I am putting the thing into the context in which it was found.  That means not only drawing a stone in the hole in […]

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Week 3, Wednesday

It seems that for everyone the best laid plans are perpetually disrupted. This morning, one of the archaeologists told me that each night she makes plans for the next day, which dissolve almost as soon she arrives on site. In […]

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Week 3, Tuesday

A deeper sense of involvement on site today. Not that I don’t already feel immersed in the dig. The archaeologists are increasingly showing me what is going on – from sharing a find to explaining the process. Some things are […]

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Week 3, Monday

Yesterday was the first Open Day on the Ness of Brodgar site. We had over 200 visitors in the Art Hut, which meant going out to draw in the trenches was difficult. So I began a repeat of my ‘play’ with […]

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Week 2 Thursday

A first oil painting on site. One of the benefits of spending a whole afternoon on one piece of work is listening to, and learning about, the ongoing the progress of the excavation – interspersed of course with discussions on […]

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Week 2 Wednesday

Lunchtime on the grass.  This week there are a lot more people working on site, with another group coming next week. Down by the waterside, Trench Y continues to prove interesting. A change in the earth colour and texture suggests […]

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Week 2 Tuesday

After days of sunshine last week, the weather has become more typical of the Orkney I know. It may be cold and grey but the colours and the clouds sitting on top of the hills are a gift to paint and draw. […]

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Week 2

  There is progress in Trench Y, down by the water’s edge, where they are looking for the outer wall of the settlement. A test pit revealed what they were hoping for so this has been enlarged.  Obviously it’s early […]

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Do Artists in Residence need a plan?

In response to a comment by a-n blogs on Twitter: Do Artists in Residence need a plan? I have decided the answer is no. The whole point of being an Artist in Residence is to interact with the host context […]

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Day 4 on site

Two trenches are uncovering new ground. Trench J has been extended and today they are starting to find bits of pottery. The other is a completely new trench by the loch edge. This is a colour sketch that will be […]

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Do I have a plan?

People are asking what my plan is this year. Presumably because it is my third season there is an assumption that there is a clear route, which is far from the case. If I have a plan, it is simply […]

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Day 2 on site

The second day of preparations for excavation, uncovering Trenches T and J. The tyres are removed using a long line or people to roll them to where they will be stacked. The tarpaulin is pulled from the trench and laid […]

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First day back on site

The first drawing of the day. The first actions for the archaeologists is uncovering the site by removing all the car tyres that have been holding the tarpaulins down. This is followed by bailing out very unpleasant water. Finally the […]

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Ness of Brodgar Artist’s Residency 2018

Preparing to go back to Orkney for my third Artist’s Residency on the Ness of Brodgar. After three days on the road, journey’s end with the ferry to Stromness. Sailing past The Old Man of Hoy, with a strong wind despite the […]

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A brief visit back to Orkney

After a few weeks at home I’ve come back to Orkney to collect my exhibition from the Kirkwall Museum and give some talks to schools and the college. It feels like coming to my other home. Down south I miss […]

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Last day of the dig

The dig is over and people who have worked closely together for the past 8 weeks are dispersing all over the world. The ‘goodbyes’ and ‘see you next year’ are quiet but the emotions are strong -unlike the theatre, where […]

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