ESTHER SIMONIS
Art Market|Issue #49 July 2020
ESTHER SIMONIS
Overlay of the Past with the Present

The link between art and archaeology has always been intuitive for me, even from a young age. I recall having found great pleasure in creating deep cave-like crypts with blankets. Later as an adult whilst traveling internationally, I found myself drawn to archaeological sites in various countries. Archaeology was also a subject I included as part of my Fine Art degree studies.

I intended to employ the archaeological method as an analogy for the creative process - the artist and the archaeologist share a parallel vision. The purpose of archaeology is to study the early human past, using the only evidence available to us. The material remains of that past are then interpreted by the artist according to his/her insight. The process requires active engagement with the landscape and the history that informs it. This exploration and preservation of the site became the practical component of my study.

In this way, another layer was developed to cover the existing layer of artifacts and fragments of previous settlements. I moved my 'studio' underground as well as above ground and found my roots, so to speak.

The artist, much like the archaeologist, is digging through past individual experiences to reveal layers and segments of collective and personal history. The archaeological process is conceived as an intimate dialogue with the past. The painstaking process of removing soil, sediment, or rock that covers artifacts and brushing it away, results in the thrill of discovery for the artist and the archaeologist alike.

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Issue #49 July 2020