Negative Capability [2013]

During the summer four artists responded to the Keatsian concept ,‘negative capability’, that of being with uncertainty, whilst working alongside supervisors and students during the University of Winchester’s Magdalen Hill Archaeological Research Project. This is one of the most extensive excavations of a medieval leper hospital, almshouse and cemetery complex. The art works were exhibited at The Link Gallery, the gallery of the University of Winchester, as a Hyde 900 satellite project for 10 Days Winchester Creative Collisions. Three local poets responded to the art works and their writings were placed alongside them. Susan Wood’s soundscape, Site Soundings, which documents the meticulous excavation methods, and her visual responses reveal the strong relationship she established with the archaeologists and the site. This project was of particular interest to her as during a visit to India with other artists earlier in the year they stayed in a community in Tamil Nadu run by SCAD and visited a village, currently being extended, for lepers who need support. Through an interpreter they talked to a leper to learn the problems both physical and social the disease can cause and the treatment now available. The Hyde 900 satellite project for 10 Days Winchester Creative Collisions also featured a collaborative work in Hyde Gate Chamber where the artists responded to new research on Hyde Abbey’s stones.