Searching for traces of disturbance in the soil, that is what the gradiometer is used for (apart from looking like you are carrying a Star Wars Tie Fighter in your hands!) It can detect the slightest differences in the magnetic field just beneath the surface, which may be due to different materials (stone rather than earth) or to the same material just being rearranged differently. So, I am back with magnetism, such a feature of the Portland project. The interesting thing about this way of using magnetism is that it can tell you where something happened but not what or when: almost like a shadow passing across the ground so slowly that we see it in one place, rather than in flux. Magnetic shadows cast by long-passed events. (Image: Bartington Instruments)
It is all about time at the moment! My residency on Portland last year lasted some ten months, time to really develop a new body of work. Then recently the possibility of a residency of six weeks came up: you might call it a micro-residency. But before that I am going to be doing my first nano-residency, 48-hours at Woodspring Priory in Somerset. Situated right on the edge of the Bristol Channel, this remote location is one of the Landmark Trust’s historic properties. Over the weekend of 18th-19th May I will be based at the Priory, which is going to be open to the public during this time, so do come along! Two things immediately interest me about Woodspring: firstly, is the sense of time associated with it, both historically (through the rhythms of its monastic past), but also nowadays as you can book to stay at the Priory for a short break to ‘get away from it all’, which means getting away from our current sense of time as much as anything else; secondly, is the use by archaeologists of resistivity and gradiometry technologies to see the unseen, to locate areas of interest beneath the ground without having to dig. Time and depth. (Image from ‘The Westonian Guide’ by John Rutter) Kasia, looking forward to meeting up later this week for some nano-planning.