Friday 20 May to 30 October 2016
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh
A new display at the National Museum of Scotland will showcase National Museums Scotland’s rarely seen collection of Scottish Stone Age jade axeheads, alongside Tim Pomeroy’s contemporary sculpture, Axehead. Stone Age Jade from the Alps opens Friday 20 May 2016.
These exquisite axeheads were created over 6,000 years ago, high in the Italian Alps, and were brought to Scotland by pioneering farming groups from northern France. Now, thanks to a French-led project involving National Museums Scotland – Projet Jade – the fascinating story of their creation, use and astonishing 1,500 km journey to Scotland has been revealed.
These were not everyday tools for felling trees and chopping wood. They were very special, ceremonial objects. It is believed that Neolithic people associated mountains with the realm of the gods and they may have felt that these hard-won pieces of mountains possessed divine powers to protect and heal. Passing through many hands on their way across Europe and treasured for generations, each jade axehead tells its own unique story.
Axehead, a stone sculpture carved by Tim Pomeroy, was inspired by these remarkable archaeological finds and was designed to reflect their power, status and ceremonial or spiritual purpose. The artist was born in Hamilton in 1957 and has worked as a full time artist since graduating from Gray’s School of Art in 1981. Now based on the Isle of Arran, he is renowned as one of Britain’s foremost stone carvers.
Tim Pomeroy, said:
“These Stone Age jade axeheads are works of both immense skill and of a highly developed, visual, manual and spiritual sophistication. As an artist I am inspired by these qualities. I have always been interested in notions of utility, the Sacred, and power and how these properties combine within the contexts of art and ritual.”
Dr Alison Sheridan, Principal Curator of Early Prehistory in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology, said:
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to tell the stories behind these extraordinary jade axeheads for the first time. Tim Pomeroy’s exquisite sculpture will complement the display and highlight the ways in which these ancient and precious artefacts continue to inspire and fascinate us today.”
For further information and images please contact Kirsten Cowie, Press Office, National Museums Scotland, tel 0131 247 4391, firstname.lastname@example.org.