Art-Landscape Transformations is a 3-year (2008-2011) pan-European project on landscape, art and heritage consisting of ten partners from across Europe and financed by the European Commission Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency within its Culture Programme (2007-13). The Cardiff University School of History, Archaeology & Religion partner project, Măgura Past & Present, is centred around the Romanian village of Măgura and, through the process of scientific and artistic interventions, will gain new insight into the relationships that different groups of people have with their physical environment and associated archaeology. The Art-Landscape Transformations project combines work from across academic disciplines and involves archaeologists, historians, architects, performance artists, photographers, and many others. In addition to the Cardiff partner, teams from France, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Sardinia and Spain are carrying out similar local projects in other parts of Europe. All of the participants are making work (scientific and artistic) that connects past and present experiences of landscape in natural and human senses.
The Măgura Past & Present project is a partnership between Cardiff University and the Teleorman County Museum.
Visit the Media-Resources section to read an introduction to the project in the Interventions: Măgura Past & Present book [pdf, 2mb]
The aim of the new work around Măgura is to investigate different interventions into the local landscape: prehistoric (8000 year old pit-dwellings ); scientific (recent archaeological and geomorphological trenching); and artistic (Land Art, film, audio, photography and graphic illustration to be implemented with the new grant). The intention is to gain new insight into the relationships that different groups of people (past/present; local/foreign; academic/lay) have with their physical environment, particularly in a region which, though rich with historic and prehistoric sites and local cultural heritage, is poor in modern industry or other commercial terms. Work will take place in collaboration with the Teleorman County Museum in Alexandria (Romania) and with the people of the village of Măgura.
The Măgura Past & Present book [pdf, 15mb] presents reflections by some of the project participants on the art residencies, workshops and exhibitions they were involved with and addresses issues to do with intervention, national and international collaboration, participation, and the relevance, meaning and accessibility of artistic and scholarly outputs to diverse audiences.
As part of this project, a wide range of activities and events took place in and around the village of Măgura and at the Teleorman County Museum involving local villagers and national and international invited participants. Activities and events included:
- workshops on community drawings, pottery making and river mosaics;
- ethnographic film-making;
- photography of village life and the surrounding landscape and heritage;
- art residencies on botanical drawings, land art, object drawings and sound recording;
- local photographic history archive;
- conference on rural village history;
- conference on local and regional prehistoric landscape change;
- Măgura Past & Present project exhibition;
- local Neolithic archaeology exhibition.