Ritual, Site, Sustainability and Community

My artwork of the last several years has been influenced by my research into the landscape of Great Britain where I have investigated prehistoric sites of the ancient peoples of Britain. This included the carved stone symbols of the Picts and ancient dwellings in Scotland and the Orkney Islands.

These site-specific structures included hill forts, circular stone structures and arrangement of standing stones that marked out critical sites in the land and culture of the people of prehistory. The physical sites themselves and their specific locations within the landscape started to raise critical questions for me. What was the purpose of these sites? Were rituals performed there by the peoples who built them? How were these sites connected with the culture and community of the people? Did these sites somehow sustain community or promote the cultural or spiritual health and well-being of these peoples? I am looking for a student who wants to work in an interdisciplinary manner to approach the concepts of Ritual, Site, Sustainability and Community where the fruits of our labor and research will produce a site, a place designated for ritual, and a new ritual practice to engage in on the land at Zena Forest, to honor and celebrate community by our collective efforts to sustain the culture of the people who live and labor there and the ongoing endeavors of this place. This student could either collaborate with me on this project as it is described or develop their own project that would integrate with these themes.

James Thompson

Willamette University

Liberal Arts Research Collaborative

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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