Yr Oriel @ Loggerheads

The first activity of the project has been to establish an exhibition in the lovely gallery at Loggerheads Country Park – which, in many ways, functions as a gateway to the landscape.

The works here aims first and foremost to establish a context for forthcoming activity founded on an expanded timeframe telling of constant flux and the need to embrace change (rather than fear it, as we increasingly seem to).

And also to highlight the cross-disciplinary nature of the project, an ethos which for all the ‘blah’ out there remains difficult to establish and maintain. Why do our institutions have such silo mentalities? Of course there is a great deal to balance, but there is such value in conversations that remain agonisingly difficult to make happen, which often rely on the goodwill of passionate people – and are claimed by these leviathans only once they have flowered…

The text panel in the case in the centre of the Oriel space says:

Remembering Forwards: Time, Change, Loss And Return

Humans have always used animal bone to travel through time; to divine the future.

Ice Age animal bones found in limestone caves, both here in the hills of Clwyd and elsewhere in Wales and England, are yielding important insights into the impacts of abrupt climate change. By exploring the past we gain understanding which can help us shape a better future.

Equally, beyond modern science, people the world over and throughout time have used animals as a lens through which to make sense, express and remember their experience of the universe. Indeed, within the story of our species, Western science is a very recent development.

Rod Mason, an elder of the Ngarigo people in Australia says;

Our ancestors didn’t have books, but we had good memory. We wrote our journey on the landscape and in the landscape, and even to this day we can read our story backwards from here.

We’ve got stories of the ice age, the animals that came, and the animals went – animals you never see no more. So we’re part of the extinction world.

As, perhaps, are we all now.

Cave palaeontologist Professor Danielle Schreve, naturalist and antiquarian John Blore and artist/animator Sean Harris are explorers and time travellers of this extinction world, each using their own devices and mechanisms to reach understanding and find meaning. Here, they are brought together, summoned by the calls of fabulous beasts which once inhabited these hills and now linger both in the dark spaces of our imagination and – as contemporary science shows – within a geology whose traces are present in our own bones and teeth.

You can see the video on display – a projection onto stone and a taste of things to come – here:

You can find out more about the images on the walls here: https://udfil.com

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