Art in Action – 18th-21st July 2013 – Waterperry, Oxfordshire, UK

On Thursday and Friday I had the privilege of working as a volunteer for Art in Action 2013 at Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire. For four days a year, these gardens are transformed into a small town full of artists from across the UK and as far afield as Uzbekistan, Mali and Egypt.

Hangings made by the Tent Makers from Cairo

Hangings made by the Tent Makers from Cairo

Silversmiths and leather workers from Mali.

Silversmiths and leather workers from Mali.

One of the things I like best about this event is that the artists are encouraged to demonstrate the creation of their art in action from potting to sculpting and glass working to blacksmithing. As well as being embraced in an atmosphere of creativity, I also found numerous aspects fascinating from an archaeological perspective. On my second day, I was working in the Newcomers’ Tent, which was packed full of emerging talent. Over the course of the day I had numerous conversations with the artists about their practices, from chatting about the sparkly other world of a silversmith (Kate Earlam: www. kateearlam.com) to discussing the desire to create old-seeming ceramics with Chris Taylor (www.chirstaylorceramics.co.uk), who deliberately takes an angle-grinder to his finished pieces to expose the multiple layers of glaze and pattern. All of this has given me much to think about – a refreshing view of material culture from the other side as it were.

Katie Earlam entering her sparkly world.

Kate Earlam entering her sparkly world.

One of Chris Taylor's vases showing the multiple layers of glaze and pattern and the deliberate damage inflicted by the angle-grinder.

One of Chris Taylor’s vases showing the multiple layers of glaze and pattern and the deliberate damage inflicted by the angle-grinder.

In addition, while wandering around the site watching the artists in action, I began to think about what archaeological traces such an event might leave behind. A project for the future perhaps…

A sculptor at work surrounded by stone chip pings.

A sculptor at work surrounded by stone chippings.

Advertisements
Posted in Art

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s