Gold, Garnet, and Lead: A Response to the West Yorkshire Hoard
International Medieval Congress 2020 – Virtual Exhibition
This exhibition looks to discuss the curated group of objects brought together and then bound together through time and space: a hoard. The focus of this exhibition is the West Yorkshire Hoard, which was buried and found in Yorkshire.
The West Yorkshire Hoard; is an early medieval hoard, consisting of seven objects – four gold rings, one gold ingot and one gold brooch fragment. The seventh object is a lead spindle whorl.
Through a series of new artwork, made in response to this hoard, the exhibition aims to spark discussion about the material binds that brought these objects together. By considering their physical and material makeup as the catalyst for their eventual hoard-bound state, this next stage in these objects’ use-life can be contemplated.
Gold vein 1-4 (The West Yorkshire Hoard), May 2020
A beginning – earth, rock, water
Coveted, searched for – found
Extracted, smelted – altered
Shaped, carved – worn
Means, trust – plan
Morph, adapt – fix
Kept, given – held
Earth, covered – returned
Material: Photographic digital collage, on photographic paper
Stickpile, gold (The West Yorkshire hoard)
A natural state for gold to be accumulated, divided and used.
30.17g, 9.48g, 15.09g, 8.35g, 3.44g, 29.5g
Size: 16.5 cm (w) x 39.5 cm (l) Material: Object – Leather, string, plaster, acrylic paint
stitch, stitch, spin (The West Yorkshire Hoard), Jan 2020
A female hand – a valuable skill, a spindle.
A known repetitive rhythm – an action that can be picked up and put down.
The working of a needle feels similar – the stitch is needed and there is a need for stitches.
Holding together, binding for a time, a personal intent.
Size: 24 cm (l) x 10cm x 5cm (h)
Material: Object – Table cloth, thread; cotton and metallic, sticks
Homespun, gold (The West Yorkshire Hoard), Feb 2020
A tool – to spin with
A place – a wealth in cloth
The mixture of gold – found, melted and cast, re-melted, recast – expectant
A current – a molten constant
A thing – a threaded, piecemealed creation
A form – to take, be made, to hold and be set to
Size: Approx. 12cm(h) x 13cm(l) x 10cm(w)
Material: Object – 1 x container, 12 x golden threads; woollen material, cardboard, thread, bamboo sticks
Grassland, Heathland – Aberford (The West Yorkshire Hoard), June 2020
The wandering has happened, I have walked the land and searched.
Today, I am on foot with purpose, but choose to digress.
I stray off the usual paths to get to the spot.
It appears, the setting is right, the decision has been made
I tread lightly with the choice and place the objects down
They have come to rest. I can now rest
Size: each approx. 37cm ( l) x 28 cm (w)
Material: Linen, thread – silk, cotton, metallic
Gathered garnet (The West Yorkshire Hoard), April 2020
Wrapped, cloaked, gathered to make safe.
Adding protection to the metals it often embellishes, encrusts or set within.
Singular it can help, but with many, light work is made to disguise.
Size: 6cm (h) x 11cm x 12cm (l)
Material: Object – Linen, thread, garnet beads, glass ‘garnet’ beads
Yellowing (The West Yorkshire Hoard), March 2020
Lead, a metal with a job to do – if not now then later, so kept.
Whorl spindle, a portable skill – a portable use – a portable wealth.
Gold, citrinitas, a phase before wholeness.
Yellow, begin again in the outside world.
Size: 10cm (h) x 13.5 cm (l) x 9cm
Material: Object – Wood, fabric, thread, bamboo sticks