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Conversations with Magic Stones
17 June 2017 until 16 September 2017
The Pier Arts Centre
‘Conversations with Magic Stones’ marks the conclusion of a three year project led by Professor Mark Edmonds exploring the significance of stone tools in Orkney from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age. The project has also been documenting the social history of collecting in the region, tracking how stone tools have been ‘collecting people’ from prehistory down to the present.
The exhibition is the result of a close collaboration between the project team and staff at The Orkney Museum, Stromness Museum and the Pier Arts Centre. Each venue explores a different aspect of the material, the connections between them emphasised in a single catalogue, specially prepared for the show. At the Pier Arts Centre, the work of Barbara Hepworth offers an important counterpoint to the other two displays. “Hepworth saw prehistoric artefacts as touchstones for her experiments with form” says Professor Edmonds, “and her work encourages us to think in new ways about the significance that Orcadians have attached to stone artefacts over the past 10,000 years”.