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Celtic and Viking Relics

The first of an intended series of decorative pendants I am planning to use for research purposes for my MA. This piece has been 3D printed in PLA plastic and primed and sprayed to replicate an original Viking horse bridle pendant, found on the Isle of Man in 2014:

"This wonderful 4.5cm copper alloy pendant is a decorative feature on a horse bridle and would have adorned the forehead of a Viking’s horse.  Vikings were accomplished horse riders, often taking their animals on their ships when they were travelling to new lands.  Bridle decoration emphasised the power and wealth of the horse’s owner and this pendant would have been a magnificent golden colour when worn." (Allison Fox, Curator of Archaeology at Manx National Heritage)

Such pieces are revered for their representation of a history of people. My pleasure in these pendants are a personal one, being a person of Celtic heritage, and ultimately that this piece will have belonged to an individual.

Often the individuals who will have owned these were important members of the societies in which they lived, and so were not everyday people's collections. This leads me onto my own personal enquiry into Celtic heritage in a modern-day sense - my work focuses on things and items that remind me of loved ones, which in a more abstract sense represent a Celt to me.

The initial phase of this project was obsessive drawings of my mother, an Irish woman. Now I am working with gouache paint, and painting everyday objects which represent things to me - this includes Euthymol toothpaste, Vape liquid, and certain shower gels - all which build up to my image of an identity and personal geography. The work will be intimate portraits of people, and at least initially, will not always have a person within the work itself: it is exploring the importance of imagery to a personal identity.

In observing objects, this allows me space to interpret the shadows and transfigure these into block shapes on a page to build up an image in gouache paint, amongst other mediums.

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