Talking Stone Taciturn Cave – An Excavation of Darkness

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A collaboration between environmental artist Filippa Dobson, Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute and Lumen Arts, Leeds. With aerial photography by Richard Stroud.

Ilkley Arts Studio, Castle Yard, LS29 9DT
Open Friday October 28th 6 pm – 8 pm
Open Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October 10.30 am – 4pm 2022.  

Transfers to: East Street Arts, Patrick Studios, St Mary’s Lane, Leeds LS29 7EH

Open Friday November 11th 6 pm – 8 pm. At 7pm join Filippa for a conversation with artist and researcher Andrea Thoma and composer and researcher Scott McLaughlin about performative art practices as methods for excavating darkness (sound and visual experimentation, painting, photography, archaeology, and storytelling).

Open Saturday 12th 10.30-4pm, Sunday 13th 2pm-4pm, Monday 14th -Wednesday 16th 10.30am-12.30. Other times by arrangement with the artist 

Visitors and local communities are invited to continue an artist’s explorations above and below ground by interacting with a site-specific installation. Remembered in folklore and place names, High Pasture Cave, Isle of Skye, and the Little Skirtful of Stones, Ilkley Moor, are hundreds of miles apart and separated by the sea.

In prehistory the burial sites were interrelated by sea routes, migration pathways and traditions associated with rock art. Cup marking, circular depressions incised on landfast boulders and portable stones, may be understood as a prehistoric “language” or signage system.

Cup marked monuments may not have been seen as entirely benevolent or safe to approach. The sounding of hammerstones on rock, and the creation of portable stones, may have offered some kind of protection.

Something of the sense of threat our ancestors encountered when approaching the underworld may be responded to by the sight and sound of cave water moving through stone. What might belief systems and the presence of women mean in the context of the cave? Can the musicality of a contemporary art practice evoke a Goddess (Brigid) and a Giant’s Wife (Rombald).