Friday: Birdoswald was misty and you could almost feel the ghosts of the past.
English Heritage staff met me, smiling ready for our visitors from the Netherlands. We shared creative workshop practices, and discussed my presentation on the Frontier Voices journey showing some of the creative outcomes. The Birdoswald poetry was a great success with our visitors, working how they could use this for their heritage workshops in Leiden - real international co-operation and sharing! They brought over an eco-printed and embroidered hanging for the exhibition, a group collaboration for Frontier Voices showing an interpretation of the roman fort at Park Matilo. The leaf printing is really delicate and there is a lovely mix of embroidery stitches adding additional texture. The embroidery reminded me of my mother’s needlework - she taught me how to sew and embroider when I was very small - and it was good to discuss this with the textile artists and their choices of stitches. We walked round part of the fort and I shared the horse carving, which I love. I then introduced them to metal foil embossing, which they hadn’t tried before. They created leaves for the Sill installation and then votive plaques for the exhibition, which will then to go on to Chesters for display after the exhibition.
We said our goodbyes and they have invited me to come to the Netherlands. However I had a phone call in the evening to say that the key they had asked me to return to the Great North Museum was in fact their back door key for their house in Hexham………