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Archaeo News 

15 July 2010
Figurine exhibition in Norwich

A major exhibition is currently running at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (England). Entitled 'Unearthed', the exhibition brings together Japanese figurines from the Jomon Period (16,000 - 2,000 years ago) with Neolithic figurines (8,500 - 4,500 years ago) from the Balkan regions of Eastern Europe.
     It is hoped that, by bringing together what would appear to be totally unconnected cultures, in such a way, newv knowledge and insight may be gained and visitors are actively encouraged to act as budding archaeologists and make their own interpretations of that they see and feel. The figurines are mixed with contemporay artworks from both areas (some of which were inspired by the figurines), to further stimulate thinking and ideas.
     As part of the exhibition, visitors are encouraged to hold and examine hand-sized figures (made by artist Sue Maufe) to try and discover more about why they were made and how they contribute to our culture. They are even encouraged to break them, contributing to a pile of fragments, as would be found by latter day archaeologists.
     One of the curators of 'Unearthed', Andrew Cochrane, of the University of East Anglia, is quoted as saying "Small things, especially ones that look human, allow us to think about our place in the world in new ways. 'Unearthed' develops this notion and creates fresh opportunities for us to reconsider who we were in the past, who we are today, and who we want to be".
     The exhibition also includes workshops, talks and a study day where key speakersmake presentations on the relevance of the objects to ideas of modern day identity. The exhibition is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Henry Moore Foundation, Japan Foundation, the British Academy and the Duke of Omnium Fund. It is sponmsored by National Express and runs from 22nd June to 29th August 2010.

Sources: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (Press Release) (June 2010), Rhiz (31 June 2009)

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