Last week was the summer school at North Uist, based at the arts centre in Lochmaddy, and hence the long gap in blog updates. The title was ‘Art and Archeology – Creative Pasts, Kindling Creativity’, a joint venture between Becky, the archeologist and Dennis, the fine art tutor. It was intriguing and exhausting and involved lots of talking and was very good indeed. A bit of shock for me, coming at it from several weeks of solitude, but I met some lovely people and had lots of interesting conversations.Here’s an extract from the course details
During this summer school you will engage in a range of approaches to a series of archaeological sites and landscapes in Uist. You will begin by learning ‘conventional’ archaeological recording techniques; planning, describing and photographing. You will then explore a range of creative responses to this work. We will ask whether the archaeological approach can provide a footprint for the playful and the creative and if so, how far you can take it. We will also ask how an artistic approach can inform our understanding of the past. The focus of the school is to promote discussion and debate through interaction between those with an interest in art and those with an interest in archaeology.
I had lots of questions at the beginning, and probably more at the end!
1- when does archeology begin? can it be yesterday?
2- what is art / who is an artist?
It seems the answer to (1) is yes, archeology begins whenever the past does, so yesterday or even 5 minutes ago.The answer to (2) is, nobody knows…
The format was that we spent the first 3 days visiting sites and taking part in survey work, drawing scale plans, measuring, taking photos and even scraping with trowels! Along with endless discussion about what we were doing, and why, and as everyone had a very strong opinion about everything it was sometimes a bit overwhelming. The last two days were based in the art studio, where all sorts of creative responses emerged. More on that soon