Fire and Stone is a fascinating exhibition which explores the history and archaeology of the Laws of Monifieth and the process behind creating contemporary responses to ancient metal and stone artefacts.
It is a continuation of the ‘Reflections on Celts’ spotlight tour which was a partnership with National Museums Scotland and the British Museum, and which also featured a bronze replica of the Monifieth Crescent by local artist Roddy Mathieson. This exhibition now examines the process behind making the crescent and also looks at other artists who have been inspired by archaeology.
At the centre of the exhibition is a replica of the Monifieth II Pictish stone which has been commissioned from stone carver David McGovern. The cross- slab is carved from sandstone quarried from Pitairlie Quarry, Angus., and is based on a slab thought to have been carved in the 9th century which was found at the church at Monifieth in Angus and is now in the collection of National Museums Scotland.
Also featured are two watercolours painted by James Neish in 1857 illustrating his excavations of the Laws of Monifieth. These are on public display for the first time and are on loan from Historic Environment Scotland where they are part of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland collection. A model of Camperdown Wildlife Centre’s Bear Broch by internationally renowned American artist Mark Dion is also showcased in the exhibition, along with material on loan from National Museums Scotland including artefacts from Hurly Hawkin and a lynch pin which provides intriguing evidence for the presence of a chariot at the Laws of Monifieth.
The free exhibition at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum runs until Sunday 4 February 2018 and is part of the 150th aniversary celebrations at the museum.