A collection of artwork about Seahenge, including a film, collage and sound piece to accompany The World of Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum 17th February – 17thJuly 2022
Rose was commissioned as part of the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project ‘Icons in Context: Rethinking Symbols of Power at the Time of Stonehenge’ led by Duncan Garrow and Neil Wilkin. She created a print, film, and in collaboration with Rob St. John, a sound piece.
The focus of the artwork is the Early Bronze Age timber monument Seahenge.
Discovered on a beach at Holme-next-the-sea in North Norfolk, Seahenge is a timber monument dating to 2049BC. The circle of oak timbers and the great central stump were remarkably well preserved, allowing specialists to unravel the story of its construction in astonishing detail. Although many aspects of its use remain a mystery, it has brought clarity many aspects of Bronze Age life. Its excavation in 1999 was unusually controversial, highlighting how archaeology is woven into the contemporary social and political landscape.
Rose carried out a series of interviews with the community of archaeologists involved in the discovery and excavation of Seahenge. She spent time in the landscape around Holme collecting film and sound footage.
The artwork included a painted collage, created around the ideas of the monument in place and the dynamic setting of the Norfolk coastline. Rose created a new film ‘Seahenge’ featuring the voices of the community of archaeologists involved.
She collaborated with Rob St. John on the creation of a ten minute sound piece ‘half/life’ for the exhibition, which he composed from field recordings Rose made out in the salt marshes and beaches around Holme-next-the-sea.
The artworks are all available here
Rose is now working with Dr Neil Wilkin on reflections of creative process and practice within museums and heritage sites. Working creatively within this exhibition has given insight into how art might be used in heritage and museum settings. Rose is now working with Dr Neil Wilkin to reflect on how these insights can be used going forward.
The painted collage of Seahenge made for the exhibition. It was inspired by the landscape of Holme-next-the-Sea in North Norfolk, and by imagery and conversations about the excavations of Seahenge in 1999.