During the 2022 season we were pleased to be part of Dig It Scotland's #ScotlandDigs2022 summer of archaeology campaign, all the more relevant for us at Swandro since the 2022 theme was Climate Action Archaeology, and in particular ways of communicating climate change through archaeology. To mark the end of the season Dig It Scotland commissioned three artists to produce work based on three of the participating sites to reflect this year's theme, and we were lucky enough to be one of the sites chosen. Our artist was Renuka Ramanujam, and this is her resulting print:
Renuka, a multidisciplinary artist and designer who specialises in printmaking and textiles explained that the project was an inspiration for her: “Much of my work and practice focuses on our relationship to the planet, and each other, as well as environmental justice so this project would be a wonderful instance to demonstrate how this has evolved. Being a printmaker, a lot of my aesthetics are influenced by imprints, textures and abstraction - fossils and artefacts are always a huge source of inspiration for me.” She was drawn to aerial images of Swandro, in particular the aerial shot of the roundhouse:
As Renuka noted in her draft ideas for the project:
One way to kickstart people into action and awareness spreading is by visually showing them the damage; aerial satellite photos of deforestation and melting ice sheets over periods of time are quite effective at this. Taking this idea, I wanted to add a surrealist touch. I really liked the aerial shot of the roundhouse, and so I want to replicate the idea of an encroaching ocean and the decimation of the rock falling away. Growing up, many of us learn (as I did) that erosion is natural, however this particular case of erosion has been sped up by human impact - hence the idea of adding hands or fingerprints pulling the blanket of water over the excavation.
We're delighted at being part of the Communicating Climate Change Through Archaeology project and with the finished artwork, and would like to thank both Dig It Scotland and Renuka Ramanujam for their support.