PALIMPSEST: Written on the Earth: Call for Proposals

  • Published on: 26th January 2017
See all news

Deadline: Friday 24 February, 17:00

  • a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing.
  • something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

Throughout the mediaeval period, because of the commodity value of writing materials, it was common for vellum manuscripts to have their original text scraped-off and written-over.  With forensic and other techniques it became possible to reveal the original writing, which could be more significant than what came after.

So it’s an analogy for the land – or the earth – as a page that has been erased, written-over and altered over centuries.  A parallel landscape that is dormant, hidden and mute.  It is particularly relevant to the Hebrides where human habitation has been buried, built and planted-on sometimes many times over.  Things dissolve into the landscape and vanish.  Metal oxidises, wood rots, peat preserves.  There are lazy-beds (feannagan), peat-banks, croft-patterns, Neolithic sites, re-seedings, abandoned houses and villages, paths, roadways and so on: sometimes evident, often invisible.  Pioneering aerial photography by the Ordinance Survey after the First World War revealed many layers of previously hidden history.  In another dimension, terminology changes, place names disappear or are forgotten.

An Lanntair is looking for artists who will respond to this concept by providing a piece, pieces or a body of work that interrogates, challenges, responds, comments or engages creatively with this subject.

Please submit a brief proposal, no more than 1 side of A4 along with CV and no more than 6 digital images.  The scale and quality of the response will determine the parameters of the exhibition. 

Palimpsest: An exhibition on the idea of land as a page that has been erased and written-over, over Centuries.  A parallel landscape that is hidden and dormant.

Proposals should be emailed to by Friday 24 February 2017 at 17.00