Deepening is a new film work created by Laura Wilson, exploring the hidden landscape of Must Farm near Peterborough. The Must Farm dwelling site is an exceptionally well-preserved settlement dating to the end of the Bronze Age (c. 850BC) located on the edge of a working quarry. The site, often referred to as the UK’s Pompeii, has been excavated by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, revealing many important discoveries about how people lived and worked. Working closely with Cambridge Archaeological Unit, Wilson explores this and other discoveries, opening up questions around labour, trade and everyday life.
The exhibition, in the Boudica Gallery, includes twelve Bronze Age vessels that have been excavated from the Must Farm site on loan from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit. It also includes objects and seating from Laura Wilson’s performance Deep, Deepen, Deepening which took place at Must Farm Quarry on Saturday 19 October 2019.
Wilson has been commissioned by Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery as part of the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network three-year project, New Geographies, led by Wysing Arts Centre. New Geographies aims to create a new map of the East of England based on unexplored or overlooked places. In 2017, the public was invited to nominate locations in the region that they found meaningful or interesting to them. Over 270 sites were identified, with ten artists commissioned to highlight some of these places through new site-specific work. Wilson’s work responds to the nominated site ‘View from the North Brink across the Fens’ from which the landscape it shares with Must Farm is visible.
“It has been such a privilege to have worked so closely with Mark Knight and his team at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit and Forterra to realise this project. Must Farm has revealed such fascinating insights into how people lived and worked during the Bronze Age period, within a broader landscape that even today, is continually changing and adapting.” Artist, Laura Wilson
“The Must Farm quarry is the biggest hole in Fenland and as such is unparalleled in the perspective it affords on this deeply buried landscape. As archaeologists we are very fortunate to be able to explore the prehistoric settlements and sediments exposed by this vast aperture. Over the past year we have doing this in the company of the artist Laura Wilson, sharing our insights or understandings of the different textures and temporalities. At the same time, we have been able to relate to Laura’s way of seeing, her explicit engagement with process and the labour involved in the making of this particular landscape, past and present. Now we are keen to witness Laura’s Must Farm, and her ‘take’ on this deep space.”
Mark Knight, Lead Archaeologist at Must Farm, Cambridge Archaeological Unit
Deepening has been commissioned by Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery as part of the East Contemporary Visual Art Network’s three-year project, New Geographies. New Geographies is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence.