Seminar – “Art/Archaeology: Exploring Disciplinary Edges”, Dr Antonia Thomas, 29th April 2021

Antonia Thomas is an archaeologist and lecturer based at the Archaeology Institute, Orkney College, UHI, where she is Programme Leader for the MA Contemporary Art and Archaeology. Her research focuses on the relationship between Art and Archaeology in its broadest sense, from the interpretation of prehistoric visual culture, to the intersections between contemporary art practice and the archaeological imagination.

Seminar abstract

Art and Archaeology have many points of intersection. Parallels can be drawn between archaeological practice and process-led art, and contemporary art is often drawn upon as an analogy for prehistoric visual culture in archaeological interpretations.

In this seminar, Dr Antonia Thomas sketches out the history of the relationship between Art and Archaeology, before presenting some recent case studies of artists who explore archaeological themes, and archaeologists whose work crosses over into visual arts practice.

In exploring the edges of their disciplines, Dr Thomas argues that these Art/Archaeology intersections open up possibilities for socially meaningful research and practice with wide ranging significance.

Seminar recording


Here are some references and links to follow up if you were interested in the topics talked about in the seminar:

The Freud Museum, London:

Contemporary Historical Archaeology in Theory group:

Heritage Futures Project: includes discussion of future, deep time nuclear waste, the profusion of museum objects etc. and has links to free downloadable publications

Space Age Archaeology, a blog by Professor Alice Gorman

Ness of Brodgar excavations

Gair Dunlop’s artwork and writing

Katie Paterson

Rachel Sussman

Tonje Bøe Birkeland

Amy Balkin

Flow Country /. Flux Tower project by Jasper Coppes and Daniel Lee (downloadable pdf)

Art/Archaeology projects and happenings: 

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Find out more about The Edge programme – featuring seminars, images, articles & a conference on our website.

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