Art in a Hut???


Art in a Hut???

Artists in residence are working inside this portable cabin.

Well, the time has come and there is a portable cabin now in place at the Ness of Brodgar excavation. Nicknamed THE ART HUT by Karen Wallis, Karen has been at the site painting for the past two years.  I have left my regular post of helping Anne Mitchell in the small finds hut, to join with Karen and be another artist in residence. 

I have been a volunteer on site since 2011 and have become very acquainted with the vast amount of pottery bits and bones that have been unearthed over the years.  I also had a good few years helping out at the DIG SHOP which supports the Orkney Archaeology Society    Working alongside Annabel Eltome was a great experience and some of my strategies for items were taken on board.  It does make my goosebumps go to see that my rendering of one of the remarkable incisions found at the Ness, still graces the tea towels and tea shirts sold at this year’s Dig Shop.

We expected a smaller space, so it is our great fortune to have the size of this working space doubled!  That means I have more space to spread out….more wall space….and thus…. a longer painting to start on!  A great big thank you to Orkney Aggregates that provided this huge portable cabin for our use this summer.

It is Day 8 since folks starting working at the excavation. The site opened to the public on the 4th of July.  I have spent most of the time using the great weather to do some watercolours and drawings around and about.

The sun really affects what colours I choose to use for a subject.  In the case of this day’s batch of work, I found the blue to be particularly bright. The lochs can change colour so quickly and the range is from this kind of turquoise to greys and lavenders. 

I am finding the structures that have been hidden all winter…their layers of stone that have curved and sunk over time…the bits where the archaeologists have bagged, tagged, or stored some of the tires back into…to be the most interesting.  I am more intrigued with what has been left behind by people than by the actions of the present day people. So, I concentrate on the landscape.

One of the southern edges of Structure 12 that got my attention.