Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Ancient Landscapes

Walking through the Peak District, we step on stories that run through all the long years of human life in Britain. They run still further back until the landscapes of 300 million years ago are worn smooth by our feet

The limestone of the White Peak can tell us about ancient seas and fabulous animals from before the days of the dinosaurs. In this project we will explore those rocks: visiting outdoor sites, looking at fossils and formations, building on our understanding of how those prehistoric environments shape the landscapes around us now. We will look at the end of the limestone days, and the climate change that shifted a world from limestone to millstone grit
 Introduction to the Ancient Landscapes project

Today saw our first sessions in the pilot workshops for this exciting project looking at the environments that grew the landscapes we live in here in the Peak district of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Our first two groups met today - with people from Borderland Voices in Leek and participants of High Peak Community Arts' Project eARTh initiative
generous richnesses from the museum to work with

At Buxton Museum and Art Gallery we discussed the possible form of those ancient worlds, looked at fossils, drawing them, touching them, getting to know them
"when I look at this one, I see pictures. I see sunsets. Not my sunsets but maybe its sunsets"

Ideas grew out of fossils and sample artworks - we want to build those ancient landscapes as textile, model and puppet installations

we could make mobiles of sea creatures to hang from the ceiling so people walk under them. We could change lights so that the colour and movement suggests being underwater

Rag-rugs might give textures underfoot

We could record sounds, make a soundtrack of old seas
museum fossils
and extras from my own extensive collection of plastic animals! here a Dunklosteus model

a day of possibilities…where the project might go to next is anyone's guess

a modern coral but food for ancient thought

 Comments within main text in italics are from participants. Opening paragraphs from our project's basic information


  1. And there is a Facebook group - please join and join in! It is called "Ancient Landscapes" and that should take you there - or try this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/187273864715003/

  2. brilliant, and such a great way to connect with your heritage. needs rolling out all over!

    Kath H