Art & Archaeology at UHI Enrolling Now for 2020

Love Art? Love Archaeology? Why not study both and get an accredited undergraduate or masters-level module at the same time!

Art and Archaeology courses ENROLLING NOW for January 2020 start!

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, and the Art & Design Department, at Orkney College UHI are pleased to announce that enrolments are now open for the 2020 Art and Archaeology modules.

These are available at both undergraduate or postgraduate level and can be studied either as elective modules as part of a UHI degree or masters course, or as standalone modules for Continuing Professional Development.

Both modules provide students from a range of backgrounds with a deepened understanding of the creative, practical and vocational aspects of art and archaeology and provide the transferable skills which are currently in demand in the cultural industries and heritage sector. Either module can be taken as a distance learning student, from either a UHI learning centre, or from your home anywhere in the world*.

Exhibiting at The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney

Art and Archaeology: Context and Practice (Level 8 / undergraduate)

This new undergraduate level 20-credit course is suitable for students who have at least 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above / 2 A-Levels at grade C or above, or equivalent, and a strong interest in art and archaeology. This module allows students to explore the creative, practical and vocational aspects of art and archaeology in their own research and practice.

You will learn about the history of the relationship between art and archaeology, and through a series of practical assignments you will gain a deepened understanding of not only your own creative practice, but also of the processes of making and craft production in the past and how these are interpreted in the present.

Over the 14 weeks of study between January and May 2020, you will develop a portfolio of work which will lead to your final assessed project.

Detail of butterfly pattern carving from the Ness of Brodgar

Art and Archaeology: Contemporary Theory and Practice (Level 11 / postgraduate)

This 20-credit masters level course will appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds including fine art, design and applied arts, archaeology, heritage studies, galleries and museums, and anthropology.

It provides an advanced understanding of the new interdisciplinary area of Contemporary Art and Archaeology, through discussions, seminars, and lectures on current and historical contexts and case studies. The module takes place in Semester 2 over 14 weeks (January – May 2020). Teaching is delivered via a blend of Video Conference seminar sessions, tutorials, Online teaching and resources, and self-directed study. You will document your personal creative enquiry through a reflective journal, which will form part of your final assessment, along with a research project and presentation.

Art & Archaeology workshop visit to the Stones of Stenness

We will research and explore Contemporary Art and Archaeology as a group, and together we will develop new thinking and understanding in this exciting area. There is an optional 3-day residential workshop 20-22 February 2020 in Orkney which runs at the start of this module; this is not compulsory but is strongly recommended (no additional teaching cost but students are required to fund their own travel and accommodation).

COMING SOON! MA CONTEMPORARY ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY, A UNIQUE 12/15 MONTH MASTERS COURSE, AVAILABLE TO STUDY FROM ANY LOCATION. Contact antonia.thomas@uhi.ac.uk to register your interest and for more information NOW!

Module fees for 2019-2020**
Accredited Level 11 module: £560
Accredited Level 8 module: £215

**Scottish / EU domiciled students only; please contact us for details of fees for students from the rest of the UK or outwith the EU

To apply or for more details about course content and entry requirements, please email antonia.thomas@uhi.ac.uk

Ness to Ness Workshop 2019, Orkney

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute have once again teamed up with Orkney College UHI Art Department to offer the popular summer Art & Archaeology workshop for 2019.

  • Dates: 2nd – 5th July 2019
  • Time: 9.00-5.00 each day
  • Cost £250 per person (limited number of concessions at £225)
  • Accommodation and food is not included
  • Material and transport to and from Kirkwall during the workshop is included

Join us for a four-day workshop exploring the synergies between Art & Archaeology through an exciting combination of field visits and studio time. Accompanied by artists and archaeologists, you will explore the themes of mark-making, materiality and the landscape in the beautiful setting of Orkney’s West Mainland and the island of Hoy.

There will be exclusive tours of the Ness of Brodgar, Pier Arts Centre and the Ness Battery as well as expert printmaking tuition in Orkney College’s Art Studio from Charles Shearer

Tuesday 2nd July 2019 Field Day Ness of Brodgar and Ness Battery

The Ness of Brodgar excavation

After an introduction to the workshop, we will visit the excavations at the Ness of Brodgar. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a bespoke tour with Site Director Nick Card and see its unique art with Neolithic art researcher Dr Antonia Thomas. In the afternoon we will have a tour of the remarkable buildings at the Ness Battery and its unique WW2 painted murals with archaeologist Andrew Hollinrake.

The Ness Battery looking across to the Island of Hoy

Wednesday 3rd July 2019 Pier Arts Centre and Hoy

For today’s session, we will study the internationally significant collection of modern and contemporary art through an exclusive tour of the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness. We will then travel by the MV Graemsay ferry to the island of Hoy and then onwards to the beautiful beach at Rackwick via the Dwarfie Stane….a Neolithic rock cut tomb made famous by Sir Walter Scott in The Pirate. Following a day on the island we then travel back to Stromness on the ferry.

The Dwarfie Stane

Thursday 4th July Studio Day One

You will develop your sketches and ideas from the previous two days into collagraph prints, guided by the internationally renowned printmaker and artist Charles Shearer. A lunchtime lecture will discuss art and artefacts from Neolithic sites in Orkney. You will also have an opportunity to handle finds from recent excavations.

Friday 5th July Studio Day Two

You will be able to develop your ideas from the previous three days further, and continue to work on collagraph printmaking with Charles Shearer. A lunchtime lecture will explore overlaps between archaeology and art as disciplines and processes.

Formal qualifications are not required for this course.

Cost: £250 for 4 days. Limited number of concessions available at 10% discount (£225) Cost includes teaching, transport and materials, but not accommodation or food.To book, contact orkney.college@uhi.ac.uk or telephone 01856 569000

CPD Art & Archaeology Course Enrolling Now

Preparing stone SF7530 for photography

Art and Archaeology: Context and Practice Module Code: UV408115 (SCQF Level 8)

The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute have teamed up with the department of Art and Design at Orkney College UHI to offer a distance learning course for those who wish to explore the creative, practical and vocational aspects of art and archaeology in their own research and practice.

The Art & Archaeology: Context and Practice course has been specially designed to be studied as CPD for those professionals working in the creative and heritage sectors or as an introduction to research in the expanding art & archaeology field.

The course itself explores the history of the relationship between art and archaeology, and through a series of practical assignments students will gain a deepened understanding of not only their own creative practice, but also of the processes of making and craft production in the past and how these are interpreted in the present. 

Drawing Stone SF7530

Course Content

  • Introduction to Art and Archaeology
  • Drawing and photography in archaeology
  • Artists and archaeologists from the Renaissance to now
  • Experiencing and recording landscapes in archaeology
  • Collecting and curating objects and assemblages
  • Materials and making in prehistory 
  • Prehistoric art and mark-making
  • Contemporary archaeology: ‘the archaeology of us’

Course Structure and Delivery

The module takes place over 14 weeks between February and May 2019. Teaching is delivered via a blend of Video Conference seminar sessions, individual and group tutorials, online teaching and resources, and self-directed study. You will document your personal creative enquiry in your reflective journal which will form part of your final assessment, with a final project.

Entry Requirements

Students working at Stromness harbour

At least 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above / 2 A-Levels at grade C or above, or equivalent, and a strong interest in art and archaeology.

Cost

£215 for an accredited Level 11 module for Scottish/EU domiciled students in 2018-2019.  For students from the rest of the UK or outwith the EU,
please contact us for full details of fees and funding

Enrolling now for a February 2019 start! Fill out the form below to register…or find out more.


COMING SOON: the popular Art and Archaeology Summer Workshop will again be held over four days in July/August 2019. The cost will be £250. Check out our social media pages for more information in the New Year.

Art & Archaeology Masters Module 2017 – Enrolling now

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ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY

Contemporary Theory and Practice

Module Code: UV411013

The University of the Highlands and Islands is pleased to announce that this innovative interdisciplinary masters module is now enrolling students for 2018.

The course, that was so successful last year, can be studied either as a stand alone module or for Continuing Professional Development in the museums and galleries, community archaeology and the Creative Industries.

Designed and led by the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute and the Department of Art and Design at Orkney College UHI, this exciting course is a distance learning course and incorporates a four day residential workshop held in the unique location of Orkney, Scotland. It is a 20 credit SCQF Level 11 module which will appeal to those who have studied archaeology, art history, fine art or related subjects at undergraduate level.

  • The course can be taken as an optional elective module for students studying the Fine Art MA and the Archaeological Studies Mlitt / Archaeological Practice MSc programmes as well as other related programmes such as Music and the Environment, History, Cultural or Nordic Studies
  • Individuals may also enrol for this as a ‘stand-alone’ module, eg. as part of continuing professional development. It will be of interest to anyone based in Museums & Galleries, Community Archaeology and the Creative Industries
  • The module runs during Semester 2 – starting on February 2nd 2018 – May 2018. The schedule includes weekly lectures and seminars delivered by Video Conference and online learning – these will run on Friday morning over a 12-week period.
  • There is also an optional Residential Workshop (mid-February 2018) based in Orkney, which will involve fieldwork and practical workshops exploring art and archaeological practice.
  • The aim of the module is to research and explore the subject with an experimental approach, by looking at contemporary and historical contexts and case studies, through discussion and work with the group we hope to develop new thinking and understanding  in this exciting area.

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Outline of content:

  • Introduction to Art and Archaeology
  • Virtual Fieldtrip
  • Practical residential fieldwork & workshops in Orkney
  • Seeing, Engaging and Recording in Archaeology
  • Taking Art and Archaeology into the Landscape
  • Contemporary Art and Archaeology
  • Artefacts & Objects
  • Looking at Prehistoric Art
  • Group Presentations/ Seminars and Essay
  • Assessment and feedback

Entry requirements:  honours degree in a relevant subject such as archaeology, art, design, art history, cultural studies or other closely related discipline such as arts or museum administration. Applicants with other qualifications or relevant experience are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis. Note that students are required to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses for the four day residential workshop.

The course is also an optional module for students studying the Fine Arts MA, the Archaeological Studies MLitt, the Archaeological Practice MSc in addition to other related Music and the Environment, History, Cultural or Nordic Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

To apply and for more details, please contact Mary Connolly by emailing studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk for an application form or 01856 569225

 

Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney – Book Review

thomas-2016-front-cover

Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney: Process, Temporality and Context. Antonia Thomas. Archaeopress. 2016

Caroline Wickham-Jones kindly wrote a detailed review of Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney, which was subsequently published in The Orcadian newspaper this week. Caroline writes….

We are all used to reading media snippets about amazing structures and spectacular artefacts from Orkney’s Neolithic past. How refreshing therefore to have a whole book devoted to one aspect in detail. Even more exciting: a book that takes information from our newest and most enigmatic site at Ness of Brodgar, and puts it into context with information from two of our oldest sites: Skara Brae and Maeshowe. Finally, and the icing on the cake, it is readable.

img_1444Art and Architecture in Neolithic Orkney is a handsome volume; it is well illustrated and clearly set out. It is designed to be read from cover to cover but in fact there is a lot of detail here and it also makes for an excellent ‘dipping’ book. The main thrust, as you might guess, is to provide an overview of the amazing suite of decorated stones found within the structures of Neolithic Orkney through detailed studies of these three key sites. Within each site, particular case studies are set out.

It is a comprehensive piece of work, taking us first through a history of the archaeological study of art, and then providing a brief guide to the Neolithic art of Britain and Ireland. This helps to put Orkney art into context, though one cannot help wondering, given the thoroughness of the present research and the ephemeral nature of many of the pieces recorded, whether decorated stones might be under represented outside of Orkney. Many of the pieces here were unknown before Thomas’ research.

We are led deeper into a fascinating detailed consideration of the individual sites. With regard to Skara Brae and Ness of Brodgar a wealth of useful material is provided, including up-to-date breakdowns of the architectural remains and stratigraphy. Even for Maeshowe, a site which you might think had been well published in all its glory, Thomas finds angles and information that have not been presented before.

After this is it time for some serious discussion and analysis. In common with archaeological thought today, Thomas has moved far beyond the old-fashioned ‘Art Historical’ approach and even beyond the ‘Technological/Functional’ approach that was all the rage when I graduated. You won’t find an explanation of ‘meaning’, nor detailed discussions of manufacture, but hopefully any disappointment will be assuaged by learning new ways of thinking about the pieces. Rather than focusing on possible interpretations of Neolithic Art as a sort of code from the past, Thomas teaches us to consider the ways in which it was used and how it may have functioned as part of everyday life.

This is done through three different examinations: first, the processes of incorporating material into Neolithic structures; second, the lifespan (often brief) of art as a visible element; and third the wider context of community and identity in Neolithic Orkney. We are never going to know exactly what the makers of the ‘Brodgar Butterfly’ or the Skara Brae Lozenges meant by them, just as we don’t know what Leonardo intended to convey in the Mona Lisa’s smile, or Banksy with his graffiti. But we can start to think about the roles that these pieces of art played in relationship to their surroundings and those who frequented them.

In this way, Thomas has identified very specific and differing forms of creation and deposition. For me perhaps the most surprising elements are the ways in which design appears to be less important than creation, and existence more important than visibility. Is this indeed ‘art’ as we understand it? Only in the way in which a hidden tattoo or plasterer’s doodle might be so defined.

There is a lot to take in. There is a lot to think about. It is a book that will linger and enrich any exploration of the remains of Neolithic Orkney. The ‘art’ itself is just wonderful, it was clearly an integral part of the lives of our Neolithic ancestors. I can’t help a slight regret that I’m still so far from ‘reading’ it, but I now know so much more about those who tramped the passages and halls of the past. I’m happy.

The book is based on Antonia Thomas’ PhD thesis (itself an exemplary piece of work I am told), and she has done an impressive job, not just in completing the thesis but in producing a publication less than a year after attaining her doctorate. It marks the inauguration of the Archaeology Institute’s Research Publications, judging by the ongoing projects in the Institute one can only wait with excitement for the next volumes in the series. Meanwhile, if you have an interest in the lives of those who lived and farmed in Orkney five thousand years ago, I urge you to go out and buy it.

Caroline Wickham-Jones

For more things archaeology see Caroline’s brilliant blog at http://www.mesolithic.co.uk/


Published by Archaeopress, this publication forms the first in a series by the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute and it is available in print and e-format from www.archaeopress.com and is priced at £45 for the paperback and £19 for the eBook.