Art and the Re-Presentation of the Past



This article considers conceptual links between producing installation art works in the present and interpreting prehistoric lifeworlds. We consider connections between the work of contemporary ‘landscape’, ‘environmental’ or ‘ecological’ artists and an on-going landscape archaeology project centred on Leskernick Hill, Bodmin Moor in the south-west of Britain. We argue that the production of art works in the present can be a powerful means of interpreting the past in the present. Both the practices of interpreting the past and producing art result in the production of something new that transforms our understanding of place and space resulting in the creation of new meaning. Art and archaeology can act together dialectically to produce a novel conceptualization of the past and produce a means of relating to the past that is considerably more than the sum of its parts.