Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Di Pattison's exhibition at Brú na Bóinne

While we were waiting for the first bus to take us to Knowth, we saw Di Pattison's exhibition 'Earthworks' at Brú na Bóinne visitor centre. Just our kind of thing. Some were based on aerial views and plans of sites (including Knowth, above), which instantly appealed to our mapping instincts and interest in ancient sites, and she uses natural pigments harvested from the earth around the British Isles to make her paints. So her paintings have a fabulous colour palette, totally natural and very addictive, which seem to link the subject matter straight back into the landscape. I was hooked.

You can see a better image of the Knowth painting and read about it on Di's website here. By the way, the cross shaped heads in the tomb chambers are nothing to do with Christianity, as the tomb dates from over 2000 years before that. I like her comment -

I tried in this painting to convey the sense that to an archaeologist the soil, regarded as just dirt by most people, is rich with evidence helping us understand our ancestors’ lives and beliefs.

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a catalogue (as mentioned on the exhibition poster above) as the bookstall was closed for stocktaking, so I got in touch with Di today and she kindly gave me permission to show some images from the exhibition on my blog. The exhibition continues until 12th October and I'd highly recommend it, as the photos here don't really do justice to her work, which is incredibly tactile and really needs to be seen in person.

Here's the info about the paints and how she creates them (click to enlarge and read) -

Many well-known sites around the British Isles were included, not only sites in Ireland. This aerial view of Arbor Low in Derbyshire was quite magical.

Some of the paintings were available as limited edition prints too (the print version of the painting above is on the right).

There are better images of many of these on Di's website gallery. She is based near Cambridge and her contact details are here (I spotted that she has an 'open studio' weekend events in July and December, so that would be worth checking for dates). I'll be looking out for her work in future.

EDIT 5/10/11 - for more interesting art inspired by ancient designs, keep an eye on Sally Westcott's blog (listed on the right in my bloglist). She's just told me this -

I'm creating a series of petrogylph quilts (12 x 12) at the moment and New Grange is in my scope... I will let you know when the series is complete - two down two to go!... I'm off to Houston for the International Quilt Festival - I have two quilts in the Jewel Pearson Scholarship Exhibition! So exciting!

It is!

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