Coming Soon

Helen Marton is a Cornish contemporary craftsperson currently preparing a range of works for her forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum.

The exhibition, entitled ‘4000 Years in the Making’ focuses upon the archaeological landscape of Tremough in Penryn, Cornwall. In recent years, three archaeological digs have established this site as a place of production and activity for over 4000 years. This small triangular plateau, which overlooks the Fal estuary, is now home to Falmouth & Exeter Universities.

Several of the artefacts found at the archaeological site will be on display alongside unique hybrid artworks where Helen uses a range of traditional and digital techniques to explore the archaeology of the site in a new and original way. This fusing of contemporary craft practice and archaeology offers a mirror into the past through, bringing the artefacts to life in vivid and engaging ways.

Helen has produced a wide variety of new work for the exhibition created using both traditional and contemporary methods of production. Many of the remarkable finds discovered at Tremough will be on display here for the first time. Visitors will also get the chance to handle a number of replica finds.

Helen uses sophisticated, high definition digital scanning and imaging of the mineral content of some of the finds (known as petrography) to create some of her works, inspired by and bound to the archaeology of the site. These works offer a new lens through which the public can consume archaeological knowledge and in doing so enhance their understanding of the past. She suggests that “this digital narrative reveals much about the use of technologies over time, whilst also offering unique insights into prehistoric life.”

Many of the artworks are made from a unique clay called Gabbroic. This versatile clay is found only on the Lizard peninsula in South Cornwall and was used to make Cornish gabbroic pottery for over 5000 years.

Other works include a 1.5m large-scale copy of a 4000-year-old dress pin, recreated from only 3 small pieces of broken stone mould, and a pair of 5m oven gloves created from digitally printed fabric depicting a detailed petrographic analysis of a sherd of gabbroic clay. Helen has also converted the data from this analysis into a weaving code and used this to create fabric using a Jacquard Loom.

 

The exhibition 4000 Years in the Making runs from 14 October to 30 December