Stonehenge Through the Eyes of an Artist (Feat. Linda Brothwell)

So, Linda, tell us a bit about your career
as an artist so far. Originally I trained as a jeweller. I apprenticed since I was quite young and then went and did a degree in Sheffield and then I did my
masters at Royal College of Art doing goldsmithing, silversmithing, metalwork
and jewellery. This is the first time that we’ve actually had a contemporary art exhibition at the Stonehenge visitor center, so it’s quite exciting for us.
What does it mean to have your art in a quite a different place where you
normally might display it? So it’s really exciting to work with English Heritage
because usually my work is shown in galleries and museums, so this is quite a
different audience actually who are coming to Stonehenge to see the
monuments and hopefully be able to then , after seeing the exhibition, look at the
monument through fresh eyes. What can visitors expect to see when they go and
visit the exhibition? In the exhibition there are going to be 40 vessels, all of
which together hopefully give a snapshot of the place. So, I’ve created a palette
of references I guess which is looking at both historical visual imagery and
modern people who are working in the area. So, working with all of this
research I’ve started to feed that into these 40 vessels and they’re going to
work together to show little hints of texture from the area, some colour, some
references of the tools that are used in the place and also obviously some
historical references as well for shape of beakers and grape cups and things
like that. You said that you’ve been talking to
local people, so how have they have been inspiring you? So I’ve met quite a lot of
different people in the local area who are using tools, who are using vessels every
day and who are working in the…they’re influenced by working in the local place, so those are people from the thatcher, to the tailor, to the barbers, to
people working with leather. All different types of people who work and
respond to the local area. Vessels are something that as archaeologists we’re
really interested in finding out about pottery decoration and forms and it
really helps us to not only date but also kind of understand food and
activities that people are doing. Often they get included in graves. Now I
understand you’ve been to two local museums to have a look at some of the
prehistoric pottery vessels. How have those been inspiring you as well? Yes, I’ve been to Wiltshire Museum and Salisbury Museum to look at their
different collections, particularly in Wiltshire Museum I was looking at the
beakers and in Salisbury Museum I was looking quite a lot at their ceremonial grave Goods, sort of the miniature vessels which were really fascinating
and that really helped me get a kind of a wider understanding of the types of
vessels that have been used and made in the local area and also the decoration
that was on them. It’s been really interesting to look at vessel making as
pottery and then obviously translating some of those visual references into
metal. There’s a particular burial near Stonehenge which is quite famous at
least amongst archaeologists – a man we term the Amesbury Archer – and he was
buried with seven of these highly decorated beaker pots but he also was
buried with metalworking tools. Now, I understand you went to see him on
display at Salisbury Museum so what do you think about his grave goods? Yeah, so it was great to go to the museum and to see him and also how he was buried with
those tools. So obviously a really important part of his identity was that
he was a metal worker and I think I’m right in saying it’s the first part of
gold in the UK, first example of gold in the UK. So he was buried with some of the earliest copper and gold objects that we
know of in the British Isles. And I understand you’ve been to the
Stonehenge Visitor Center and you’ve met with some of our volunteers and with
some people who are making replica prehistoric pots now. How was that? So I was lucky enough to go on a holiday period, so at Stonehenge there are
usually events and things for the general public a little bit even more
extra special on the holiday period so I was missing the gentleman who makes the
replica beakers and pots and talking to him about how he actually has to make
his own tools so it’s really fascinating to meet someone who’s in some ways
working in quite a similar way to me looking at tool making and vessels. What is it do you think about Stonehenge that means that artists and writers have been so inspired by the monument? I was fortunate enough to go inside the stones
and actually going very close (obviously not touching!) and seeing the
lichen and the colors and the textures are really interesting and also the
carvings of the metal objects as well. Do you hope the exhibition will help
visitors look at Stonehenge in a new way? Well I hope that all the vessels, the 40
of them, work together to give a snapshot of the place. By looking at the
exhibition and then going out to the landscape it might prompt people to see
it through an artist’s eyes.

10 thoughts on “Stonehenge Through the Eyes of an Artist (Feat. Linda Brothwell)

  1. As an American college student with a love for art, I'm grateful to you for showing me these perspectives I wouldn't have considered otherwise. I love depressing artistic inspiration from everywhere, especially history and science, and to see these fields working together makes me very happy!

  2. Hi ๐Ÿค—. I am from turkey ฤฑ really like your videos but my english not very well. I am curious about the england history and ฤฑ researc it. This channel so good about it. Could you add Turkish subtitles please.

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