From the Art Hut – In it for the long haul part 2
By Karen Wallis
In my 2020 blog post, I reviewed my artist’s residency since it began in 2016. So here is an update on progress and my plans for future work.
The film Drawing Archaeology is now complete, with a trailer on Vimeo.
In 2021 we had a world premiere on site in a portacabin, with the audience posing on the red carpet with their “Oscars”. These varied from a replica golden axe to trowels, Thermos flasks, and Sharpies.
My previous blog announced that there needed to be a book, which I intended to begin once the film was finished. This would reflect on the whole project, and consider the potential for sketchbook drawing to contribute to the research in another discipline – like archaeology.
But I am a visual artist and it was impossible to continue on the Ness without making more art, following my primary interest in the archaeologists’ everyday process and their personal involvement with the Neolithic.
So during the recent digs, I have been working towards another film, which will include some of the images and sound recordings that ended up on the cutting room floor, plus all my unused oil paintings, collection of pigments from the site, and videos of the landscape.
My plan this year was to fill in the gaps in my collection of material, but after a week of unkind weather, and a certain amount of anxiety that I wasn’t achieving anything, I threw the plan away and returned to my accustomed practice of drawing and painting whatever caught my eye.
This random approach always throws up unexpected treasure, very often leading to fresh ideas.
When the weather prevented me from being on site, I began to make some initial edits of video backgrounds with superimposed paintings and drawings. These are not yet ready for public viewing, but I hope to have some footage to show next year.
As that will be the final year of the dig, it will bring to an end my residency on site. But I have my own post-excavation work to do, with the second film, a database of all my work for the site record – and the book…
See you in 2024!