This year the Art Hut was upgraded from the wooden shed of last year to a large portacabin generously supplied by Orkney Aggregates – and the number of artists increased to five.
We were open to the public and nearly 1,400 people came to see what Artists in Residence do, with over 200 on the first Open Day and just under 300 on the second.
It was good to share and explain our work and a wonderful experience to be part of the Ness.
Each of us responded to the site in different ways and enjoyed being part of our small artists’ community.
New to the site this year was Diane Eagles, who responded to the ceramics found on site by making three pots to celebrate Neolithic feasting.
Each one incorporated elements relating to its title in the clay: Milk contained grass, Beef contained bone, and Beer contained grain.
She will be making another two pots back in her studio and all five will be seen in an exhibition later this year at Southwark Cathedral.
Jeanne Bouza Rose, an American living in Stromness who has volunteered in the Finds Hut for the past eight years, put on her artist’s hat and has been engaged in producing a series of paintings about the Ness – including a five-metre landscape along the back wall of the hut.
She also found time to persuade some of the younger visitors to the Art Hut to take pencil and paper out on to the site to draw things they saw there.
Jeanne will be having an exhibition of her Ness paintings at the Orkney Museum in December.
Elizabeth Holding returned from Germany to continue her drawings in the structures, using mixed media including earth from the site.
Her theme this year was Working Away, echoing the process of archaeological excavation. The book, What The Architecture Tells Us, which Elizabeth illustrated for her friend Marianne Pollich is on sale at the Pier Arts Centre.
Helen Walding came back all too briefly for a week painting the landscape.
Her images are an emotional response to the light and land. We hope she can spend longer here next year.
Karen Wallis continued her ongoing residency for a third season, drawing the everyday process of archaeology and recording conversations and the sounds on site, which she makes into a film.
A highlight for her this year was being able to draw and record the lifting of a beautiful stone axe, which captured the excitement such a find generates.
When the weather prevents her from drawing and painting outside, Karen has been experimenting with pigments found in rocks from the site, kindly supplied by Martha, the Rock Lady.
Words cannot express how much we appreciate the opportunity for art to play a part at the Ness of Brodgar.
Artwork by us and many other artists inspired by the Ness can be seen in Artefacts and inspirations from the Ness of Brodgar at the Stromness Museum.
See you next year!
Diane Eagles – www.edensclay.co.uk
Jeanne Bouza Rose – www.ArtWorksoftheEarth.com
Karen Wallis – www.karenwallis.co.uk