Comics at YAC!

Yesterday I was invited to spend the morning with a group of dedicated archaeologists (aged 7-17), at the North Wiltshire Young Archaeologists’s Club(part of the YAC network).

Our goal was to make some comics about archaeology.

We made a few warm up drawings (the grown-ups joined in too)

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P1080737Then we looked at a range of replica artefacts.

After a short break,

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We made our comics.

 

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Many thanks to Katy Whitaker and the YAC group organisers for inviting me, and to the young archaeologists for their interest, enthusiasm, and excellent cartooning!

Dr H

 

 

Bath walks within the walls: Walk 2

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Walk 2 of Peter Smithson’s Bath Walks within the Walls (Bath University Press) starts just across the river from Bath Spa staion and leads up hill and down vale (then up hill again) in a pleasant loop around the outskirts of Bath.

Photos all taken by Dr A. Quotes from Peter Smithson are written in orange.

DSC_0013 DSC_0014Fire Insurance Wall Plaque on house on Southcot Place

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Pause at the junction with Rosemont Lane. From now on the walk is real rus in urbe for behind the present walls and hedges are the mounds and terraces of previous occupancy now in transition.

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At the time of writing in 1966 this building was empty a House-shell inhabited by school-girls, their singing hanging in the damp air.

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That rabbit should really watch out for this fox.

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We encountered a lot of signs.

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Though we weren’t expecting this one.

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The track peters out under an arch of a disused railway in a steep field, terraced and bumpy. What can have once been here?

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We followed the springs.

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The raised pavement or access deck of the extraordinarily nice Widcombe Terrace.

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Widcombe Crescent. Paired doors with the centre window over them false (it is over the party wall). Bizarre really, but gentle and unassuming.

In spite of breaking the no-talking rule, Bath had certainly induced its reverie in the walkers. That and hot feet. We headed home.

Only four more walks to go…

Dr H

Bath: Walks Within the Walls

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About a month ago, I stumbled across a copy of Peter Smithson’s “Bath: Walks within the the Walls“. Peter Smithson and his wife Alison Smithson were key figures in the debate over shifting architecture in the 1950s. The uncompromising concrete style of New Brutalism championed by the Smithsons can be seen in their buildings at the University of Bath.

It’s therefore surprising to discover that Peter Smithson found so much to admire in the Georgian architecture of Bath – to the extent that he created this book of 5 walks around Bath in order to show architects, students and anyone willing to listen, the lessons that Bath has to teach us about architecture and landscape.

Dr A and I have been discussion the possibilities of Bath as a city highly suitable for flaneuring, ever since getting pleasantly lost somewhere between Sion Hill and the Circus sometime last summer. Also, Dr A’s research into prehistoric art has led to a new fascination with materials and marks of making. So with Smithson’s guide in hand we set out to hit the streets.

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Smithson has some pretty strict rules about how you should undertake these walks, a key requirement being that you should follow them “alone or with one other person, and that one should not talk.” This is because: “the reverie that Bath can induce is an important part of the lesson“.

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Apologies to Smithson, but it was simply not possible for us to keep quiet for so long. Plus, I could not resist reading out Smithson’s forceful and often entertaining comments about the buildings and views we were encountering.

We had intended to follow the walks in order, but in the end we started with Walk 2, as it took us into areas of Bath we have so far failed to explore.

Over the next few months we hope to complete the rest of Smithson’s walks and post our findings on the blog.

Walk 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Dr H

British Folk Art

This is yet another find from the Arnolfini bookshop.

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This book was made to accompany the Tate’s exhibition of British Folk Art. While the Tate exhibition is over, the objects are now on show at Compton Verney, which holds a large collection of Folk Art.

The book is appealing in so many ways. The objects are beautiful, surprising and sometimes unsettling.

Bone Wesley – made from a horse vertebra

The objects also speak of a rich art tradition which is often overlooked by galleries, and which surely deserves further attention and a wider audience.

Dr H

Images from the Tate and Compton Verney websites.