A kind comment from a reader:
Art at ArchFest 2018 (August 7)
Impressive variety of art in both subject and media.
Well done to all the artists!
As part of the Old Sarum Landscapes Project 2018, a collaboration between the Universities of Southampton and of Swansea, art sessions were organised in the museum earlier in July. Work by University students, Volunteers and children from Stratford sub Castle CE Primary school appears below, with apologies that we couldn’t include it all!
Salisbury Museum’s Festival of Archaeology was truly magical this year. More than six hundred braved the heat (and other distractions) on Saturday and more than seven hundred on Sunday.
Memories include the little girl who came away from one of Tim Lowe’s presentations about WWI and said “The soldiers didn’t want to be there did they Mummy?”
Also memorable was Richard Osgood, DIO (Ministry of Defence) Senior Historic advisor, TV archaeologist and writer, who shared moving accounts of the work they do with army veterans struggling with PTSD. Operation Nightingale is the programme using archaeology to aid in the recovery of soldiers who are sick, wounded or were injured on operations in Afghanistan.
The Meetings Room was full of fascinating material relating to the Old Sarum Landscapes Project run by The University of Southampton and University of Swansea (more on this next week). But there was also a delightful display of artwork by Volunteers, U of Southampton students and pupils from Stratford sub Castle CE Primary School. The art work is all part of the Project and continues in the museum this week.
We have a growing audience of children at our Festivals and this year was no exception. Kate, of Wiltshire Scrapstore, an award winning environmental and community charity providing activities for children (they now have an establishment at Wilton!), worked heroically single-handed with hundreds of little ones. Model tanks were the popular choice of the day (see photo above).
Wessex Archaeology had them digging…
Rapt audiences of children and adults were moved by Tim’s stories of WWI.
Phil Harding dug while Museum Director Adrian Green looked on. “How does he do it so neatly?” asked one passer-by. Years of practice I think!
Wiltshire Museum (Devizes) and the Wessex Partnership were producing counterfeit coins – well, copies, anyway – beautiful reproductions of Iron Age staters, hammered, just as the real ones were two thousand years ago. Many proud youngsters also walked out wearing small diamond shaped decorated gold plaques made with foil. Brilliantly effective.
Salisbury Cathedral Education, and representatives from Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage site were also providing opportunities for children to have hands on experiences, as were, of course, The Companions of the Longbow (always popular – those bows and arrows!) and the College of Chivalry where calligraphy could be tried with real quill pens.
One tiny tot fell in love with Lucy (that’s the Dorset Regiment’s lorry) and couldn’t be dragged away. Proud owner Colin had been fixing its brakes around midnight the night before..!
Friends of Clarendon Palace are old friends of ours and reported that there were so many visitors to their stand that they were afraid they hadn’t spoken to them all!
There was barbecue and Pimms, thanks to the Museum Cafe (and some great chocolate cake!), singers sang, Hadrian Cook of the Watermeadows Trust was there (I think we could all have done with a paddle), Romilly, of the Outside, valiantly kept spinning her wools in all that heat while we talked about 1976 and the possibility of a rain dance, and English Heritage kept buildng and rebuilding Stonehenge while being watched by giant photos of the Chubbs, who made it all possible (if you don’t know the story, click here).
The speakers were excellent, and such good value, and generous in many ways. Some had come a long way too – thank you to you all.
We even had novelists. Nicola Ford was here, signing copies of her new book and Lindsay Davis (she of Falco and Flavia Albia) made us laugh – a relaxed and engaging speaker.
A very good time was had…..
The place, the crowds, the children, the Salisbury Museum Team, the exhibitors, the superb speakers, the Volunteers, the musicians, the Museum Cafe. Old friends and new.
An email from one of our exhibitors:
Just to say thank you … for another great weekend. Amazingly busy we thought. Having convinced ourselves that people would stay away because of the heat, we were proved to be totally wrong… Everyone involved on the stand thoroughly enjoyed themselves, whether it was for the full day or only a couple of hours to give others a break. At times we couldn’t manage to speak to everyone, because there were just too many people round the stand.
Can you pass our thanks on to Val (Museum Housekeeper and general Wonder Woman), who helped get the gazebo erected Friday afternoon, and magically conjured up two tables ready and waiting for me on Saturday morning. Very much appreciated. As for the Mobile Canteeners (Volunteers) , what a fabulous job they did, on their feet all day, loaded up with drinks, flasks etc and very little respite from the sun. They definitely deserve a Mention in Dispatches!
Thank you everyone.
A comment sent in by a fellow Volunteer, responding to Christine Mason’s blog ‘Tate Britain’ (see 5 June):
Thank you, Chris for this encouraging, interesting and beautiful word-painting of the day you shared. It seems there was a good mix of roles represented from Salisbury and a valuable opportunity to share and learn from others within the Partnership.
PS The hospitality afforded by Tate Britain sounds just about bearable too!
Proud to be a very tiny, occasional cog. Thank you all.
The Old Sarum Landscapes Project, a collaboration between the University of Southampton and the University of Swansea, is continuing its excavations near Stratford sub Castle this summer (more news of this later) and we look forward to the talk by Alex Langlands this week on this very topic.
Meanwhile, as part of the project, Volunteers and students from Southampton Archaeology have been collaborating for more than a week now on an art activity associated with the project.
This Volunteer, always happy to have a go with pen, pencil or brush, arrived one day last week, and with another Volunteer and a talented young History student, Sam, and were introduced to things by Luke Sollars. Luke is a freelance archaeologist who is usually to be found in Egypt, in an office behind the temple at Karnak (!), but he is also a bit of an artist.
The room was piled high with papers, paints, glue, scissors, pastels, pencils, pens and ink. At first the brief seemed very odd – produce artwork based on Old Sarum or other archaeological landscapes showing the link with the archaeological methods and processes. We all got going, however, and the remarkable results can be seen this weekend at ArchFest, and at the Society of Antiquaries Open Day on 27th July.
This was another lovely opportunity for Salisbury Museum Volunteers. Did you miss it?
ArchFest is nearly here! The sun is shining and it may well be set fair for the weekend of 21, 22 July.
Salisbury and the museum are OPEN. We have an excellent programme of speakers, numerous exhibitors and living history groups, some old friends and some new, and it is an excellent weekend for children, as many of you know. There will be food, music, famous historical novelist Lindsey Davis, Phil’s Dig and Alex Langlands to talk to about the Old Sarum excavations.
Tickets for talks can be booked on-line at http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk, all at only £8 :
Saturday 21 July 10.30 – 11.30 Dr Ellen Royrvik ‘Are You a Viking?’
Saturday 21 July 12.00 – 13.00 Lindsey Davis ‘The Historical Novelist Talks’
Saturday 21 July 13.30 – 14.30 Richard Osgood ‘Operation Nightingale’s Search for the WWI MkII Tanks at Bullecourt’
Saturday 21 July 15.00 – 16.00 Alex Hildred ‘Henry VIII’s Mary Rose – Workplace, Home, Tomb’
Sunday 22 July 10.30 – 11.30 Nathalie Barrett ‘Model Approaches to Landscapes’ (Pitt-Rivers records)
Sunday 22 July 12.00 – 13.00 Dr Loe and Prof Cox ‘Uncovering the Fallen’ (recovery of WWI soldiers in France)
Sunday 22 July 13.30 – 14.30 Dr Phil Harding and Lorraine Mepham on the Dig
Sunday 22 Juky 15.00 – 16.00 Dr David Roberts ‘Historic England Fieldwork..Stonehenge..’
Thank you to all who have volunteered to help over the weekend.
Alex Langlands – photo by Russell Sach
From Bridget Telfer: I am very pleased and excited to announce that our next Collections in Focus talk will be an exclusive talk given by Dr Alex Langlands about the archaeological project he has been working on at Old Sarum. This talk will take place on Wednesday 18 July 2018 at 11am at the museum. Booking is essential – please RSVP to me. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
The title of the talk is: ‘Old Sarum, New Perspectives: Excavations in the western suburbs’.
In this lecture archaeologist and historian Dr Alex Langlands will review some of the evidence for Old Sarum in the post-Roman and early medieval period. Drawing on old maps, place-names, archaeological excavations, geophysical survey and aerial photographs, a complex picture of urban development can be observed in the area immediately surrounding the hill-fort. Whilst archaeological excavation has been undertaken in the eastern suburbs – given a brief review in this talk – the evidence for occupation on the western side of the will be explored in more depth. King William’s desire to create a centre of Norman power at Old Sarum are clear – with the Oath of Salisbury and the creation of a new diocese at Old Sarum representing a bold attempt to bring church, state and royal power together. But was William choosing Old Sarum as a blank canvas upon which to paint his ambitions or was the hill-fort already a centre of royal power in the late Anglo-Saxon period?
Daily art workshops, with a tutor, for Volunteers at the museum, with small groups of University of Southampton archaeology students who are also learning.
These are being organised by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton as part of the Old Sarum excavation project.
Create works of art based on Old Sarum, using pen and ink, charcoal or pencil, watercolour, linocut and similar. The artwork produced will then be used in a final display for the Festival of Archaeology at Salisbury Museum; at a day event in the Society of Antiquaries; and will be used in the future for the Old Sarum Landscapes Project.
Would you like to take part? Some details:
· Workshops will run each day from 10am-4pm at the museum
· You only need to commit to one workshop – but you can opt to do more if you would like
· The workshops run from Monday 9 July – Tuesday 24 July (week days only)
· Each workshop can only accommodate 2 volunteers – you need to book via me
· All equipment will be provided – there will be no cost for the workshop
· There will be a tutor to give support and advice
· No prior experience in necessary
Do let me know if you would like to book onto one of the workshops: firstname.lastname@example.org 01722 332151