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Festival of Deep Time


  • Pier Arts Centre Stromness Orkney KW16 3AA

Orkney: Beside the Ocean of Time is an interdisciplinary AHRC Science in Culture project that brings together researchers from social anthropology, English studies, archaeology, palaeoecology and geology, to investigate the relationship between human community, Deep Time and landscape change in Orkney.

The Festival of Deep time comprises a series of interdisciplinary workshops, talks and field-trips throughout the weekend, to engage the community with the project. 

Programme
Friday 21 April
7pm. "Even the shells of the shore declare the glory of God": Robert Rendall and the revelation of deep time
How did Robert Rendall experience the vastness of time on the Orkney shore? Poet, archaeologist, natural historian, and scripture scholar, Rendall's interests spanned many facets of island life. Here, we explore his scientific, theological, and poetic writing, and consider how his knowledge of Orkney's landscape was infused with a sense of the deep time of creation.  Talk and readings with anthropologist, Richard Irvine, followed by a wine reception and preview of Walking the Sound with Anne Bevan.
The Pier Arts Centre. Free but please book a place via phone at the Pier Arts Centre
01856 850209
 
Saturday 22 April
11am-1pm. Deep time workshop 1: ‘Recasting the future’ 
How was the human-environment relationship in the past? How can we imagine our future relationship with the landscape?  Workshop with anthropologist Richard Irvine, geologist Carina Fearnley, and paleoecologist Lourdes López-Merino to explore past, present and potential future scenarios for landscape change and environmental hazards to evaluate whether we have learned from past experiences and we are doing enough now. 
Exhibition Room, The Pier Arts Centre. Free but please book a place via phone at the Pier Arts Centre 01856 850209
 
2-4pm. Deep time workshop 2: ‘Making Things Visible’
How can we understand things or events that are very large like the Universe, or very small like an atom? Join this drop-in creative workshop with Niamh Downing, using the films and poetry of Margaret Tait, to think about objects large and small, and timescales beyond our everyday lives.
Library Room, The Pier Arts Centre. Free, drop-in anytime between 2pm-4pm.
Family Activity. NB all children must be accompanied by an adult. Suitable for children 5+ years.
 
7-9pm. Deep time in a glass
The slow accumulation of peat: partially decomposed organic matter building up under wet conditions over thousands of years. What does it reveal about our past, and how do we live with it in our present? How do we work with it, touch it, smell it, taste it? This event, with participation from Highland Park distillery, explores the stratigraphy of peat from a range of arts and science perspectives.
The Pier Arts Centre. Free but please book a place via phone at the Pier Arts Centre
01856 850209.
 
Sunday 23 April
1-3pm. Walking the Sound
A walk for the public with Anne Bevan and the research team along the West Shore. Starts at Point of Ness Caravan and Camping Site, Stromness.
Suitable footwear and outdoor clothes essential. Please note this event involves gentle to moderate, occasionally rough walking terrain.
The Pier Arts Centre. Free but please book a place via phone at the Pier Arts Centre
01856 850209.
 
7-9pm. The remains of time: storytelling Orkney’s archaeological legacy
What kind of stories do we tell to make sense of time through archaeology? This event cross-hatches folklore and archaeological science to explore different ways that people narrate archaeological remains on Orkney. An evening of stories exploring the changing identity of the islands through its archaeology, with archaeologists Jane Downes and Tony Krus. 
The Pier Arts Centre. Free but please book a place via phone at the Pier Arts Centre
01856 850209