Exhibition: Dowsing at Brodgar

Maeshowe. (Samantha Gray)

Maeshowe. (Samantha Gray)

A set of dowsing rods and the fantastic archaeology around the Ness of Brodgar were the inspiration behind a new art exhibition at the Orkney Museum.

Local artist Samantha Gray is presenting her works under the title Dowsing at Brodgar, in a display co-incidentally next to the ongoing Ness of Brodgar exhibition.

Dowsing is a technique for searching for underground water, minerals, or anything invisible, by observing the motion of a pointer  or the changes in direction of a pendulum, supposedly in response to unseen influences.

The work on display is the result of a successful project application to Creative Scotland’s VACMA fund in 2022.

The project saw Samantha using dowsing rods at the Standing Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe. The activity was recorded by drone, using Orkneyskycam, and she had additional assistance to record the findings on a map. Samantha then used the results, and further visits to the sites, to inspire a body of creative work.

She has used collagraph and monoprinting techniques to create a series of prints which represent the lines on the landscape, both visible and invisible. Two concertina sketchbooks were created when returning from a visit to the sites, using inks and Ness of Brodgar spoil heap dirt to portray Samantha’s feelings at the sites. The video footage taken by the drone is also on display.

Samantha graduated from Orkney College in 2019 with an Honours Degree in Fine Art, and completed a Masters module in Art & Archaeology in 2020.

She is among those who supply cards and prints for our online shop and the OAS on-site shop during the excavation season.

To view more of Samantha’s work, see: www.samanthagrayart.com

The Orkney Museum is open Monday-Saturday, 10.30am – 5.00pm. Admission is free.

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