Earthed Conversations –
What Lies Beneath: Soil specialists, geologists and archaeologists in a conversation on all things earthy.
Expert speakers: Julie Dunne, PhD Student, Bristol University, Organic Geochemistry Unit
Wesley Dixon – Structural Soils, Graduate Geotechnical Engineer
In the morning Archeologist Julie Dunne explained how Ashton Meadows formed and how archeologists look for people as well as artefacts.
“Archeology aims to dig up people as well as artefacts” she told us, as well as asking “How do buried objects define our identities?”
One of the statements that many present picked up on was the declaration that “We shape landscape, landscape creates us”
She also reminded us of the time frames that archiologists have to deal with and that the human experience is but a blip on a much larged historical landscape, “the rock below Ashton Meadows formed in warm shallow seas 350 million years ago”.
Wesley Dixon, a Geotechnical engineer then explained complex sandstone formations and the importance of different processes in creating the different colours and textures in the earth around Ashton Meadows.
People were particularly taken with the idea of an Ooid, which are formed in some limestones called the ‘Oxwich formation’. It consists of a nucleus ‘rolled back and forth’ in be various processes.
He noted that Ashton Meadows only shows trace elements of human contamination. Most samples contain mainly natural elements and components.
He also noted that pictures of dinosaurs standing on grass are all wrong! There was no grass back in the day…
Earthed works: A practical site-inspired earth sculpture workshop with land artist Mick Petts.
Earthed writes: A practical site-specific writing workshop with writer David Lane.
The Big Dig
We rolled back the turf and dug down to reveal the hidden layers of earth and time beneath the surface of the meadows.
We were also joined by Ed Drewitt for a naturist and wildlife detective public walk.
That’s it folks! The trench is dug, cabinets are ready, the tent is turfed, all the scribbling, sticking and scraping is done. We’re ready to kick off the Earthed Weekender tomorrow morning with the first of our Earthed Conversations, ‘What Lies Beneath’ where soil specialists, geologists and archaeologists join in a conversation on all things earthy with our artists.
There are workshops, self-led activities, and of course the exhibition itself, on all day so drop by the Create Centre and see what’s happening.
Till tomorrow then,
The Earthed Team
Not long now! Things finally shaping up and everything looks so different from when we started. We’re all very excited about the weekend’s activities and helping the public to fill the space with bits and pieces inspired by Ashton Meadows. Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend!
We’ve shovelled and shaped, turfed and twisted, smeared and stitched, bolted, bashed and built. At the end of day three the place is starting to look like an exhibition ready to be filled with contributions, creations, ideas, stories and images.
If you have any stories, images, videos or memories of Ashton Court you’d like to share with us then get in touch,
Alternatively, just bring yourself along to the Earthed Weekend this Saturday and Sunday at the Create Centre.
All activities are free with some needing pre-booked tickets in advance. You can get your free tickets for the workshops on Eventbrite.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take part.