Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Ladies of the Midden Kiln


Back in March I mentioned that I was involved in a sciart collaboration, where artists and scientists come together to work on collaborative art projects, inspired by scientific research. I love this idea. I was always really into both art and science growing up (and took Art as an A Level subject!), and although I choose to go down the 'science' route for my career, I have maintained a keen interest in art, and particularly how we can use artistic expression to communicate scientific research. The artist I have been working with is Molly McEwan, an Edinburgh based artist and graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and talented ceramicist. 

The photos to the left are a sneak preview from Molly's exhibition at Wednesday's Girl, a free exhibition showcasing the work of female artists from Scotland, held at Space Club and supported by Somewhere To, an organisation provides spaces and venues for young people across the UK. Molly's solo exhibition, 'Ladies of the Midden Kiln' will be held at the Number Shop Gallery in Edinburgh, and is organised in association with Archaeology Scotland. The preview will take place on 16th July from 18:00 - 21:00, with daily runs from 12:00 - 18:00 from the 17th - 19th July.

When we were brought together for this project, I discussed with Molly my work at Catalhoyuk in Turkey, and the Ness of Brodgar in Scotland, two geographically distant sites which have some distinctive connecting themes. As readers of my blog know, my work investigates how people selected and used different types of fuel in prehistory, using analytical chemistry and microscopy to look at the 'invisible' traces of fuel in the archaeological record. Molly was particularly inspired by my work on animal dung, which was used in the Neolithic for processes such as pottery firing. Molly recreated a Neolithic style kiln, and fired her own ceramics using this method. I love the way she has taken different aspects of my work, and other iconic imagery from these sites such as the 'Mother Goddess' figurines of Catalhoyuk, and the beautiful Grooved Ware pottery of Orkney, and brought them together in this way. I can't wait to go see the final work in person at the exhibition!

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