Earthen Empire

2021 – 2023

A project exploring Roman turf construction through creative and collaborative research with Edinburgh University

Rose worked as a post-doctoral researcher on the Leverhulme funded ‘Earthen Empire: Earth and Turf Building in the Roman North-West’, a project at Edinburgh University led by Dr Ben Russell and Dr Chris Beckett. The project aims to shed new light on the use and properties of earthen buildings in the Roman North-West, drawing together the expertise of archaeologists, architects, engineers and soil scientists. It included time digging on the turf fort banks at Vindolanda, and you can hear more about the site on an Open Country Rose presented for BBC Radio 4.

Rose developed a set of fine art, film and photography exploring the process of research and discoveries made. Working the team she made an online exhibition, which will be physically installed in the coming year. As well as exploring the world of Roman turf construction, you can read more about Rose’s creative process, and what painting brought to her understanding of this fascinating material. For more information on the wider research project, the wonderful research team and publications you can go to the Earthen Empire website.

Vindolanda Turf Landscape I. Oil on canvas 2023
Vindolanda Turf Landscape II. Oil on canvas 2023.

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