Inhabiting the Landscape: Art, Archaeology and the Performance of Place

15th November, 2016, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne

Image from the Boundary Walk

Inhabiting the Landscape explored ways of understanding the landscape through an immersive engagement with it. Drawing on their respective practices of art and landscape archaeology, the speakers discussed the idea of landscape as the product of human actions, with a focus on traditions of land use, boundaries and authoritative and unofficial forms of mapping. In particular, they examined how activities such as walking and oral history can generate alternative perspectives of landscape, which challenge established narratives and reveal the shifting meanings of a place.

About the speakers

Working independently across film and video, sound, photography, cross-disciplinary research and socially engaged projects, Levene and Nesbitt have collaborated on the Boundary Project since 2013, which to date has involved walking the political boundaries of Sheffield and Preston.

Ruth Levene’s practice reveals the infrastructure systems that we live by and how they shape the environment we live in. She is currently in residence with Pennine Water Group, Sheffield University and working on the participatory arts project A Field of Wheat with Anne-Marie Culhane. 

Ian Nesbitt’s practice is largely collaborative, focusing on exploring peripheral territories and working innovatively with marginal communities. He has been commissioned to deliver events and projects for Nottingham Contemporary, Eastside Projects (Birmingham), G39 (Cardiff), and Amorph Festival (Helsinki). 

Bob Johnston is a senior lecturer in landscape archaeology in the University of Sheffield. He researches histories of landscapes in the UK, with a specific interest in boundaries and prehistoric field systems. He is currently working in Wales: the western fringes of Snowdonia and Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire.