DIG Transcript

Audio Transcript
Dig by Rosie Leventon
Duration: 03:10


This is Dig by Rosie Leventon commissioned in 1998. Rosie explains how her interest in archaeology influenced the design.

Artist (00:12)

It’s a very sort of roughly, roughly hewn blocks of stone which have been arranged into an excavation in the ground because everything I’m interested in seems to be underground. So firstly a large boat shaped hole was excavated into the ground with the use of council contractors (obviously I couldn’t do all that by myself). Drainage was put in so that it can’t possible flood, even in the wettest conditions and then the blocks were roughly sawn on site, in the quarries. I marked them out first and then they were brought by low loader, lifted into position and then we used a proper lime mortar to point all the stones. Another interest of mine is burial ships and ship burials which are very fascinating phenomenon, you can find almost all over the world and in the UK, of course at Sutton Hoo. So I wanted to bring some aspect of this into it all as well.

Narrator (01:12)

The artist took a residency where she could involve the public and really get a feel for the site.

Artist (01:19)

Well I tend to have rather a lot of ideas. A bit too many sometimes so it’s quite good if people could help me choose. So I stayed near Clifton Country Park where the sculptures sited. I was able to go around just looking at everything from the Worsley Delph to see the underground canals which run for about 35 or 40 miles, I think underground and there is this amazing industrial mine boat called the Starvationer and the name of it comes from the ribs of its construction which are on the interior of the boat. When I went into the park its self there’s James Brindley’s incredibly genius invention to pump the water out the mines, because of course there is the Wet Earth Colliery and the Botany Bay Collieries lying just beneath the surface of the park. Further down the park is a disused aqueduct. If you walk along it you can see the parallel notches carved into the sides where the sluice gates were installed. So these are things that coalesce, I hope if that’s the right word. I made the drawings and I worked it out roughly and then the piece that was decided upon was the one that was voted for by most of the park users.

Narrator (02:32)

Now everyone can actively enjoy Dig.

Artist (02:36)

I was very keen to make this a piece that people could use in some way. There is a step at one end for people to step inside and if they want to use it as a performance area or just for picnics or relaxing its fine.


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