Drawing

Reconnecting with my sketchbook and as always when I do, I am convinced again of the value of drawing. Time for thinking, looking and allowing surprising and unexpected things to happen. I’ve started looking at the photographs I took in the little museum at Chesters on Hadrian’s Wall with the remains of Roman Britain found specifically in the North East. Here are small altars dedicated to gods and goddesses who were revered only in Britain and particularly relevant to the soldiers and inhabitants around the Wall.

I like that I can find Rome close to home, living in the North East means I can easily get to see significant artefacts and remains. And whilst they are not on the scale of those in Rome, they are equally interesting because they are very Roman and yet so specific to this place on the edge of the Empire.

Drawing a fragment of an inscription with pencil and crayon, then refining the letterforms with pencil (bottom) and seeing how they look when painted (English words).

Drawing a fragment of an inscription with pencil and crayon, then refining the letterforms with pencil (bottom) and seeing how they look when painted (English words).

Small altars to the goddesses Coventina and Minerva. These are not very big, the lettering is informal and they look to be personal and treasured by those who made or commissioned them. Coventina was the Romano-British goddess of sacred waters, wells and springs. She represented abundance, inspiration and prophesy. Minerva, goddess of professions, arts and war was particularly worshipped by the Roman Emperor Domitian who led the campaign to bring Scotland into the Empire. But even Minerva couldn’t help him and he had to retreat.

Small altars to the goddesses Coventina and Minerva. These are not very big, the lettering is informal and they look to be personal and treasured by those who made or commissioned them. Coventina was the Romano-British goddess of sacred waters, wells and springs. She represented abundance, inspiration and prophesy. Minerva, goddess of professions, arts and war was particularly worshipped by the Roman Emperor Domitian who led the campaign to bring Scotland into the Empire. But even Minerva couldn’t help him and he had to retreat.