Art and Archaeology
Orkney and me
My artworks are inextricably linked with the intriguing archaeology of Orkney. Over the last 11 years I have collaborated closely with the organisations investigating and preserving the UNESCO world heritage sites of Neolithic art and architecture at the heart of these islands.
Painting during a pandemic
Whilst all excavations and international visitors were banned in 2020, I was given exclusive access to some of the sites and was able to continue to paint these magnificent monuments. The body of work produced during this period can be seen here
I have been painting the standing stones of Orkney since my first visit in 1984, inspired by the uncovering of extraordinary marks, incisions and objects. The Neolithic creations, the colours and pigments of the earth all find their way into my prints and paintings, influencing choices of colour and form. More information can be found at Ness of Brodgar website.
My studio is wherever I can set up painting and in 2018 I took full advantage of the 5 metre Art Hut installed for the resident artists at the Ness of Brodgar. The 5 metre artwork produced has been exhibited once on Orkney. Read about the exhibition here Living Orkney Magazine Vanishing Points Exhibition 2019. I called it “The Homage of the Sondage with some Debitage on the Side.”
To make this large work inclusive, I invited visiting and local archaeologists and volunteers to add favourite technical words all along the bottom of the painting. I have created an entertaining and informative glossary to accompany the work. I have always donated proceeds from my Neolithic influenced artwork to the archaeology groups on Orkney. When you purchase my certified giclee, the glossary is included free when purchasing the high quality giclee print here from the Ness of Brodgar shop.
The painting was very influenced by the micromorphology work of Dr. Jo McKenzie and I integrated that knowledge into the work. Find out what “spladongas” are in these short videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF0uIaTrayf8eth-se2bp9Q
During the 2019 archaeological dig season at the Ness of Brodgar, I concentrated on printmaking and worked on two large images inspired by the various view points taken by the archaeologists on site. The use of drones brings to life the floor plan and layout from above and radar-based geophysical mapping captures what is below the surface. One of these prints is available here and its purchase supports the work at the Ness of Brodgar.
Download a Renga poem produced on the site in 2018 with a group of volunteers under the guidance of local poet, Yvonne Gray and illustrated with my artwork. The purchase of your download supports the work at the Ness of Brodgar.
Orkney is rich in archaeology and the Orkney Archaeology Society will keep you abreast of new developments.
For any questions or purchase, please contact me directly. contact me directly.