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Art and Archaeology – Creative Pasts, Kindling Creativity

Archaeological investigations of sites and landscapes usually begin with observation, recording and documenting –scaled and measured plans, elevations, section drawings, descriptions, photographs and annotated maps. There are established conventions for this process; what to record, how to record and when to record. The idea behind this system is to collect information consistently and objectively so that the ‘data’ can subsequently be analysed and interpreted. Archaeologists, however, have become increasingly aware that the boundary between ‘practical’ data collection and interpretation is fuzzy; the process of recording a site or landscape is rarely an entirely objective one, but potentially a highly interpretive and creative process as well as a scientific one.

Artists engage with the poetics of space. For artists, artefacts, architecture as well as ancient places and landscapes can provide inspiring spaces and materials for creativity. Consequently, many artists have explored archaeological sites and landscapes in their work. For that reason, archaeologists now frequently look to artists for alternative ways of thinking about archaeological sites and landscapes, in a search for more imaginative and meaningful ways of engaging with the past.

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.

The format for the week will be daytime site visits, evening sessions including presentations and discussions including two full days of studio and/or site based art making.

Cost £150.00 Includes administration and teaching costs, basic materials such and papers and drawing media.

For further information contact: adminle@uhi.ac tel. 01851 77000 or Dennis Magee 01851 770 702 dennis.magee@uhi.ac.uk Dr Rebecca Rennell 01851 771 516 Rebecca.rennell@uhi.ac.uk