Archaeology The Cairns

The Cairns-The Fog & The Artist.

Orkney always surprises and today was no exception. A blanket of fog covered the whole of South Ronaldsay, blocking out the world in whichever way you looked.

The Cairns excavation also gained an atmospheric ambience of a Hollywood film set as archaeologists loomed out of the cloud to resume work.

However it is not just archaeologists that are working on this important site. The Cairns is lucky enough to have Rik Hammond to add an extra dimension to the pure archaeolgical interpretation of the structures and the landscape in which they sit.

It is relevant on many levels that an artist such as Rik is involved, as the community that resided here 2000 years ago clearly demonstrated artistic ability in constructing both their structures and the way in which they embellished their belongings.

Rik is continuing that tradition by utilising art as a way in which people can view their surroundings in different ways. For example, Rik gives a digger a GPS each day which then “draws on the landscape”. This not only creates an image which is digitally superimposed on the landscape, but also makes the person wearing the GPS, think about their position and their track through that landscape….combining art and archaeology to help people perhaps perceive the features they see in a different way….and as part of a larger landscape.


If you want to examine Rik’s approach to art and archaeology in more details then visit his website …..

More on The Cairns dig diary at Orkneyjar