Destruction and creation in the littoral zone

In August 2014, archaeologists, artists, environmental scientists and the local community came together for a field workshop at Pool, one of Orkney’s coastal multi-period archaeological sites which is eroding into the sea. Workshop participants observed and recorded artefacts and materials both ancient and modern – and used archaeological techniques of 3-D laser scanning, GPS survey, artefact recording combined with photography, drawing, sculpture and text to explore place, environment and sustainability.

A new piece of folklore/makelore, inspired by the dreadful ‘Nuckelavee’, was created and read by storyteller Tom Muir and told to participants over the weekend workshop.

Over the next few weeks ‘Wilder Being’ costumes were created by artists, textile designers and students from Orkney College University of the Highlands and Islands, constructed from the local environment and influenced by the folklore of the islands.

The costumes featured in an exhibition at the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness in November 2014, an event staged as part of ‘Being Human’, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities. The Festival is funded and led by the School of Advanced Study, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy.

The workshop and creation of costumes was documented by filmmaker Mark Jenkins with the ‘tale’ used as a narrative for the film seen here….