From the Art Hut – ‘Intent’

Owing to the Ness dig being scaled back this year because of Covid restrictions, I have again moved my artist residency to Instagram posts during the main weeks of the excavation.

I had been working on ideas for the residency during the year, building upon my Neolithic Grooved Ware work from previous years.

Over 90,000 sherds of pottery, from tiny thumb-pots to huge cooking pots have been unearthed at the Ness of Brodgar. They show many different types of Grooved Ware pottery styles, some decorated with coloured clay and pigment. The range and variety may suggest The Ness as a meeting place for people across Orkney but also beyond its shores.

My focus for this year’s residency looks at the function and “Intent” of the Ness Grooved Ware assemblage and draws upon the idea of local cultural connections as well as linking to people and making connections beyond Orkney.

I have located “to-scale” photographic images of my Grooved Ware vessels around where I live, to echo their potential use and function.

In and around the kitchen: for cooking, food preparation, storage and feasting together; for storage of food, clothes, adornments and valuables, as well as treating illness, making and firing pots, the protection, decoration and painting of buildings, additionally remembering the dead.

Each of these settings consider the cultural connections across time as well as distance, additionally the works contribute to a year long travelling exhibition, Un-Boxing, which moves around various alternative locations across continents, enabling the Ness’ Grooved Ware pots to travel well beyond their Orkney location.

Diane Eagles

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