Being a born Orcadian, I have been surrounded by archaeology all my life, and have been hugely inspired by it. When the Ness of Brodgar archaeological site was discovered, I was excited to visit and imagine how the Neolithic people might have moved around the landscape. I am fascinated by these prehistoric sites, the lines they make within the landscape, the natural elements, and the feelings that they invoke. We can only guess why these sites and monuments exist, and their meaning. In the Neolithic period it must have been an awe inspiring sight, even now thousands of people make their pilgrimage to Orkney each year to see what remains of these monuments.
In my creative process I make my own papers incorporating natural materials, including the Ness of Brodgar spoil heap dirt, some of which become artworks in themselves. Others I print onto, using lino-cut, monoprint and collagraph printmaking techniques. My handmade papers give a textured, organic feel and look to my pieces, which complements my subject. I also enjoy experimenting with different printmaking techniques, collage, and mixed media.
Samantha Gray grew up in Orkney, moved to the mainland in 2000, then returned to her hometown in 2017. She became a mature student in 2014 studying at Forth Valley College, Stirling, and completed her Fine Art Honours Degree at Orkney College in 2019. Samantha then went on to complete a Masters module in Art & Archaeology, as she is hugely inspired by the archaeology in Orkney. Samantha is currently working in Kirkwall as an Artist, Creative Workshop Tutor and Reiki Practitioner.