Alongside the archaeological research at Aldborough, we are developing an arts programme. Archaeology is a collection of inspiring and thoughtful processes, drawing together the study of materials, landscapes, technologies, imagery, atmosphere and narrative. There have been some fascinating experiments and journeys into art and archaeology at sites across Britain. At Aldborough we are interested in how creative practice weaves art and archaeology together, blurring disciplinary boundaries.
A new Arts Council England funded project SOUNDMARKS has been launched at the site. It is a collaboration between Rob St. John and Rose Ferraby. An art trail has been created around the Aldborough landscape, using sound and visual art to explore the sub-surface. You can listen to a short piece at 8 sites, including the amphitheatre, forum and village green. Maps of the trail, with all the sound pieces and visual art are available free on the website.
Rose and Rob have also made a book exploring the ideas and processes of making the work, and the nature of invisible underground landscapes. It is available to order online, and includes a free download of Rob’s 50min sound piece, and 8 postcards of Rose’s paintings.
A CELEBRATION OF STONE
In August 2017 we had a ‘Celebration of Stone’ at the English Heritage museum. This brought together a workshop demonstration of masonry and stone lettering using stone types found on the site (Sherwood sandstone and Tadcaster magnesium limestone), with tours of the site highlighting the masonry and unique Roman quarry.
Stonemason and sculptor David Paton demonstrated masonry techniques and Rose Ferraby worked on a Roman inscription for the site. By working on the site, it animated the sounds, processes and movement of stoneworking, allowing visitors to carry that knowledge through the site. Films of the work will be made into a short film for the museum, and to be used for schools education resources.
The event alsodrew on research work at the Roman quarry on the site, with a new 3D model created by Dominic Powlesland for the museum (this can be viewed here: https://sketchfab.com/models/771755af20c14ec192126d06925c7053)
The event was funded by the McDonald Institute for Research, University of Cambridge, and was carried out in collaboration with FORA and English Heritage.
Links for art and archaeology projects of interest:
Jeremy Deller at Stonehenge: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/25/jeremy-deller-creates-monumental-party-for-stonehenge-centenary
Carmen Mills at RCAHMW: https://rcahmw.gov.uk/carmen-mills-artist-in-residence-at-the-royal-commission/
Russell, I. and Cochrane, A. 2014. Art and Archaeology: Collaborations, Conversations and Criticisms. London: Springer