The Image Speaks: Archaeology PhD students participate in a collaborative exhibition

Three PhD students in the Department of Archaeology have participated in this year's The Image Speaks, a collaborative exhibition. Charlotte Waller-Cotterhill, Lenore Thompson and Nicola Thorpe each worked with photographer Andy Brown to document an aspect of their PhD research project.

Charlotte Waller-Cotterhill is a second year PhD student in the Department of Archaeology. Her thesis is titled One Foot in the Grave: An Experimental Examination of the Effectiveness and Development of the Anglesey Leg and an Analysis of Prosthesis during the Long Nineteenth Century. For her Image Speaks project, Charlotte worked with Andy Brown to create a series of pictures depicting materials used in prosthesis construction, highlighting what we already know about the process and craft.

My research aims to fill in the gaps and generate a broader understanding of the origins of modern prosthesis science and perceptions of disability during the 19th century.

Charlotte Waller-Cotterhill

Under-researched in archaeology, prosthesis offer an interesting insight into people’s relationship with physical disability. This series of pictures depicting materials used in prosthesis construction, highlight what we already know about the process and craft. My research aims to fill in the gaps and generate a broader understanding of the origins of modern prosthesis science and perceptions of disability during the 19th century.

Photo Andy Brown

Photo Andy Brown

Lenore Thompson is a Sheffield Archaeology PhD student working on understanding cultural contact as interpreted through changing procurement, production and consumption strategies of copper metal among the First Nations communities in Canada.

Working with Andy Brown to create a visual representation of an aspect of my research prompted me to take a step back from my project and think about it from a different perspective, considering the powerful use of images to convey multiple layers of meaning.

Lenore Thompson

For her Image Speaks project, Lenore worked with Andy to investigate the way in which things are caught up in life as vital constituents of diverse human relations. In particular, their project documents how surface striations, hammer marks, and patinas tell of geological processes, technological decisions, and material properties.

Nicola Thorpe is a final year PhD student in the Department of Archaeology. Her thesis, Evaluating the Future for Grey Literature Publications: Is there a Better Way of Creating a Lasting Archaeological Resource?, explores the practical and theoretical structures and principles which impact upon the creation, and subsequent use-value of grey literature in archaeology.

The most enlightening part of the process was being confronted by this ‘non-space’ which had been suddenly, and somewhat unceremoniously transformed and abstracted from our consciousness – in part, perhaps by the archaeological act. I was left feeling incredibly satisfied with the rather unexciting image we produced.

Nicola Thorpe

Her Image Speaks project was called ‘Forever Grey’ investigated the future for archaeological sites that occupied non-spaces and saw Andy and Nicola travel to the site of a commercial excavation, a site Nicola had worked on over a decade ago, on a slip-road on the A1.

Photo Andy Brown

The Image Speaks exhibition is currently on display in the Jessop West foyer at the University of Sheffield.

For more information on The Image Speaks and to view the full 2016 catalogue see here.