The upcoming exhibition of Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge University “Myths, Memories and Mysteries. Artists Revisit the Past” explores the past and its influence upon artists’ work. They cannot escape the art that has preceded them nor the culture of their birth, and whilst they may interpret the past in their work consciously or unconsciously, we also view it through the lens of our histories.
Looking at artworks concerned with the past can enable us to see familiar things with new eyes and open minds. This is how we are invited to engage with over 70 works by a group of 13 contemporary artists, nine from Greece, one Chinese, one Australian and two British. They explore or reflect the influence the past has had on them, recording or interpreting it in a variety of media.
The exhibition takes as its starting point Byzantine culture and history and the Orthodox Christian religion. It covers a period from late antiquity to the twentieth century, beginning in the Eastern Mediterranean and including Anglo-Saxon and Irish Celtic influences, Beowulf and ancient legends, the Monastery of Mount Athos and an emigrant’s recollection of their Buddhist cultural formation.
The exhibition will open on June 30 and run through November 2, 2014.
Myths, Memories and Mysteries is a project of Edinburgh University Department of Classics and Bede’s World Museum of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria at Jarrow, curated by Roger Wollen.
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through the Arts Council England and by Yanni Petsopoulos (of AXIA Byzantine & Islamic Art, 43 Pembridge Villas, London W11 3EP).