Bud(dough) Biscuits kept us going on Art & Archaeology Field Workshop

Students travelled from all over the United Kingdom – from Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Berwick, Aberdeenshire, Moray, the West Midlands and Orkney – to take part in the Art & Archaeology Orkney Workshop that was held at Orkney College from 30th March to 1st April.

Eleven students studying the Art & Archaeology Masters Module arrived on Thursday to begin a three-day workshop exploring Orkney, its art and, of course, its archaeology.

Having spent the first part of the course meeting on screen through video conference lectures and seminars, the group travelled to Orkney from all over the UK for our 3-day field workshop – it was really great to meet everyone in person at last.

We started in the Orkney College Art & Design Department with Rebecca Marr’s talk on Tom Kent, followed by a practical studio photography workshop, working with artefacts and objects, some made by the students themselves.

The session was entitled Photography: the Present in the Past and examined the representation of objects and how documenting artefacts will always be influenced by the choices made during the photographic process.

IMG_4003In the evening, following a few hours discussing the course and exploring Kirkwall, the group attended the Endeavour – A Creative Collaboration event at the Pier Arts Centre. This event involved artist Neville Gabie, the Centre’s Piergroup and students from Orkney College UHI’s Art and Design Department.

The weather was not kind on Friday as a sea fog enveloped the islands closely followed by torrential rain. It was, of course, the day assigned for our students to visit the World Heritage Site. The rain cleared as the mini-bus approached the Ring of Brodgar allowing everyone to enjoy the experience and discuss Neolithic art present at the Ness of Brodgar and elsewhere. The afternoon was spent in Stromness Museum which had been the focus of our first project.

Despite a rather drizzly start to Saturday we headed out to the West Shore near

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Stromness. Photograph thanks to Helen Garbett

Stromness for a morning of drawing, recording, casting and generally ‘making things’ in the landscape. We then ended up at the Pier Arts Centre to look at the collections and to discuss our first project which had focused on objects in the Stromness Museum. Buddo was the most popular choice of subject and had been ‘recreated’ in clay and dough –  the recipe for the biscuits will be shared later!

It was a very intensive and creative 3 days with many ideas for further collaboration coming out of the general discussion. Everyone is now looking forward to meeting up again, both on the VC and in person and all agreed that the Art & Archaeology Orkney Field Workshop was a great success and should be repeated very soon!

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“Thank you Anne Bevan @OrkneyCollege @UHIArchaeology for 3 inspiring art and archaeology days….bursting with ideas now. ” Helen via Twitter


If you are intrigued by the art, history and archaeology of the Scottish Highlands and Islands and want to learn more then either drop us a line through studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk or go to our guide to courses on this blog or visit our University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute web page