Creativity in the Bronze Age: A Response brings together works by seven craft artists working with CinBA (Creativity and Craft Production in Middle and Late Bronze Age Europe). The exhibition is part of an ongoing exchange between academic researchers working in archaeology and contemporary makers / artists engaged in practice-based research.
Since May 2012 this group of artists – Mary Butcher, Susan Kinley, Helen Marton, Syann van Niftrik, Julian Stair, and Sheila Teague in partnership with Gary Wright – have been working with the CinBA project on an 18-month Maker Engagement Project. Our aim has been to create opportunities for both the makers and archaeology researchers to exchange knowledge and insights into Bronze Age material culture and to reconsider the creativity inherent in those objects, tools and traces of making technologies.
The artists have visited project partners at excavations in Szazhalombatta, Hungary, explored collections at the National Museet in Denmark, and accompanied archaeologists on visits to Bronze Age collections and monuments across the UK, including the Wiltshire Museum and Stonehenge.
Creativity in the Bronze Age: A Response allows the artists to display their works alongside Bronze Age objects, opening up a direct dialogue between the contemporary and the prehistoric. By presenting their work in contexts more usually associated with heritage and the past, the display offers the viewer an alternative, object related and visual interpretation on Bronze Age craft. It proposes new roles for craft and making in understanding and reconsidering the qualities and values inherent in our material culture.
CinBA and the Maker Engagement Project continues through to September 2013.
The Maker Engagement Project has been facilitated by Dr Jo Sofaer, University of Southampton, project leader of CinBA, and Rachel Brockhurst, representing the Crafts Council, a non-academic partner in CinBA.