For this year's symposium, Umha Aois will contribute to the visual art strand of the Skibbereen Arts Festival 2015 by hosting a ten-day archaeology and sculpture symposium in Skibbereen, Co. Cork from 24th July - 3rd August 2015. The group of ten sculptors and crafts people will be joined by international artists, archaeologists and researchers to produce small and medium-size bronze sculpture inspired by and in response to local archaeology (notably the Early Bronze Age copper mines of Mount Gabriel and the West Cork region) and the Cor-ten steel architecture of the new West Cork Art Centre. The work will explore the contextual and visual tension between ancient and contemporary materials, leading to the fabrication of contemporary artwork and exploration of the LBA/Iron Age change-over.
Umha Aois has developed a unique and sustainable approach to sculpture, using Bronze Age metal working techniques that members have refined over the last twenty five years through experimental archaeology research for which the group has gained international acclaim. The use of the stone moulds, lost-wax process, clay moulds and charcoal pit-furnaces will give spectators and participants a fascinating insight in how ancient metalworking - carried out in Ireland 4,000 years ago - can result in both innovative and contemporary art objects as well as high-quality historic replicas. The collaboration of a group of well established and highly-skilled sculptors and crafts people together with archaeologists will ensure promotion of knowledge and dialogue between art forms and disciplines, resulting in developing the highest sustainable and creative standards in sculpture. The event is open to the public on all days from 10am to 6pm.