Talk at the Water Street Gallery

I have said in a previous post that I have some very talented friends. Pete Yankowski has taken part in, and photographed a number of our workshops, and on the back of that invited Nacho, Paul and myself to contribute to his (excellent) Ancestors Awakening exhibition. The exhibition was hosted at the Water Street Gallery in Todmorden and I displayed a number of artefacts illustrating the theme of exploring materials.

Rosemary, the gallery owner, was kind enough to invite myself, and medical herbalist, Edwina Staniforth, to each give a talk providing some context to the works in the exhibition. Edwina’s talk was about the Birch tree, and as a pioneer species, the properties and qualities that may have been valued by people in the past.

My own talk was in two parts. The first part looked at the history of archaeology, examining how stone tools have been used to shape a series of different narratives about the past, and therefore a series of different pasts.

The second part was reflective, exploring how learning to make stone tools has shaped me and my experience of the world. From one of commodities and things, towards a world of materials and their agency.

img_0196

When organising any kind of activity, I make sure it is the kind of thing I would love to go to. Consequently, I took with me two items from our teaching / handling collection: a Lower Palaeolithic handaxe and Middle Palaeolithic Levallois core and flake.

img_0199

I never underestimate the value and privilege of being able to handle artefacts from our deep past. The audience was actively engaged throughout, and based upon feedback, both talks went well. However, I think that for most participants having the opportunity to handle actual Palaeolithic artefacts was the real highlight. As it would have been for me.

Advertisements

It has been a while

It has been a while since I posted anything, and that is most definitely not because I have nothing to share, but because I have not made the time to share it. Probably the most relevant thing to share currently is the small exhibition display I have made in the entrance to our Mansfield Cooper building. Kostas Arvanitis from the School of Museology has been kind enough to lend out his display case to some ‘lithics people’, and I have been entrepreneurial enough to take advantage of his kindness.

exhibition photo

The photograph is not great and there is a problem with reflected light. However, on the plus side it confronts anyone who enters the building, and it is next to the machine that sells crisps and Skittles so it should have good ‘footfall’. The exhibition started life as a discussion about the process of learning how to make Kimberley points. It changed half way through to an explanation of the social context of archaeological practice. It has ended up as being a temporary monument to Eleanor Casella who left the department just before Christmas, as she was actually a key player in my personal Kimberley point project.

The upper shelf is primarily concerned with the texts and information Kim Akerman gave me, and what I did with it (produce points from glass and ceramic). The lower shelf explains how…I will let the exhibition posters explain themselves.

What is this exhibition about

On the value of using period.jpg

On the value of a glass bottle

Replicating a

And so endeth shelf one. Shelf two on the other hand….

Kim Akerman is the preeminent scholar in this

Presentation1

last slide

I wanted to use this space as an advert for my services showing beginners how to make stone tools, the leaflet I have produced will perhaps be my next post. However, I find it really interesting how the process itself has taken over my agenda. I certainly like my exhibition, even if I suspect it doesn’t quite say what I meant or intended. Still, perhaps that is a perk of being a peripheral part of a department that is too busy to worry about what is going on in its entrance display case. Eleanor and myself are going to go for a walk and explore around Chorlton Ees, the place where I collect my raw materials. Perhaps that can be post number three.