Join us at ancient Kilmartin, deep in the southern extremes of Lorne, when Alexander Maris will present some of the observations and discoveries he made during his research-action for The Well at the World’s End:
The event will introduce the practice of artists Alexander and Susan Marisand the Locating Lorne programme run by Deirdre MacKenna which, beyond ideas of the sublime, aims to explore how we think about the realities facing Argyll’s rural places today.
Alexander and Susan Maris were commissioned to make a new series of events, artworks and exhibitions for Locating Lorne in 2017. Conscious that Lorne and Argyll are rich and complex cultural situations, it was clear that a substantial research process was required to create a solid foundation upon which the artists could base their approach.
Initial discussions between the artists and commissioner explored the cultural memory evident in the place names of Lorne’s topography, and its enduring role providing a backdrop to experiences of transition between one reality and another, whether for pilgrims, artists, folk returning home or strangers touring its legendary places.
When asked by Deirdre MacKenna to consider undertaking research in the territory connecting their studio on Schiehallion to Lorne, Alexander and Susan Maris reflected upon how people in the past determined their routes through Lorne, and soon they realised that they too had to traverse the terrain on foot. They started to define The Journey to I (pronounced ee) as a research-action which aimed to gather insight and materials to inform their new series of artworks and, in dialogue with Deirdre MacKenna, reflect upon how to present their productions as part of the Locating Lorne programme. An indicative route readily emerged from the Marises existing knowledge, cultural memory of the Road of the Kings and clues inscribed onto ancient sites, but rather than rigidly determining their precise route, the Marises prepared themselves to respond to chance in leading them to their journey’s destination.
Under the full moon of 30 April 2018 Alexander Maris collected water from the ancient Cailleach Well on Schiehallion, considered to be located at the centre of Scotland, and the mountain used in 1774 to calculate the mean density, or weight of the Earth. On 01 May 2019, he set out on the The Journey to I, carrying the water from the Cailleach Well towards Dun I, the highest peak on Iona, where on the following New Moon, on 15 May, it was combined with the waters of the sacred spring Tobar na H- Aois, The Well of Age and Eternal Youth on Iona.
During the sixteen day journey, while traversing over one hundred and twenty miles, the Marises explored the territory by collecting artefacts and raw materials and entering into dialogue with the people they encountered, reflecting upon ideas of centre and periphery, ancient myths and how memory is imbued in the terrain. The one constant in their journey was the Gaelic language, which led the artists into a constant process of translation between encounter, object, symbolism and significance and the realisation that the Gaelic language was acting as a gatekeeper between the ancient past, the middle ages and the present.
Join us on 11 December when Alexander Maris will describe some of his observations and discoveries during his journey and present a series of images of how The Well at the World’s Endis evolving into new artworks and forthcoming exhibitions.
Tuesday 11 December 2018
at Kilmartin Museum, Kilmartin, Argyll PA31 8RQ
6.30 – a warm welcome with refreshments to heat you up!
7pm – the event begins
7.45 – more refreshments and lots of discussion…
Join us at ancient Kilmartin, deep in the southern extremes of Lorne, when Alexander Maris will present some of the observations … more