UWTSD’s Dr Martin Bates Attends Art’chaeology Events Hosted by Jersey Arts Trust in St Helier


University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Dr Martin Bates of the Faculty of Humanities, based in Lampeter, was recently invited to a series of Art'chaeology events hosted by Jersey Arts Trust in St Helier. This began with the launch of a multi-regional exhibition at CCA International, displaying a year-long residency which responds to archaeological research in both France and Jersey, produced by two artists from each country.

As a founding member of Ice Age Island (which was one of the featured sites) and the geo-archaeologist on the Independent Social Research Foundation funded 'Layers in the Landscape' project (based at UWTSD), he provided the archaeological background in collaboration with his French counterpart. Also invited to participate was Erin Kavanagh (who leads 'Layers in the Landscape') who, as both artist and archaeologist, facilitated an equal dialogue between arts, archaeology, education and science within the exhibition. Also present were Sir Philip Bailhache and the President of Normandy.‌

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Following their active presence at the private view, Dr Bates and Erin Kavanagh participated in an inter-institutional A' Level workshop at Hautlier School. Here they presented their work on Jersey's archaeology along with an introduction as to how art and archaeology integrate, including their Welsh research as a case study. This was followed by the production of a bi-lingual, multi-media, art'chaeology mural with the Sixth Form students and some of the artists. The events culminated in a public Q&A panel at the CCA gallery.

Dr Bates said: “Until recently I only considered the scientific side of investigation within archaeology; but working with both the Layers team and the artists involved in the Ice Age Island project my perspective has changed. It has made me rethink the collective process of working through projects.  I also now recognise that as a scientist I still use pictorial images first and foremost in my work."

Erin Kavanagh added: "Art'chaeology is more than just a union of art and archaeology, it is a way of seeing. To work with a school who not only understand this but have also integrated it into their teaching practice was a fantastic way to expand the research I began at UWTSD. We have a strong archaeological legacy for this type of innovation, re-igniting that may help us to look forward as well as to the past."

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