• Sarah Madison, Danebury

A new exhibition this summer at Andover Museum and Museum of the Iron Age sees a unique collaboration between local artists and Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT), in celebration of a major landmark which has dominated the local landscape for over two millennia.

DANEBURY – Past and Present Footsteps brings together over 12 local artists and craftspeople as well as artefacts from the extensive collections HCT cares for to highlight the ongoing relationship that the Iron Age hill fort – first established in around 550 BC - enjoys with people in the Test Valley.

Included in the exhibition, which opens on 8 June and runs until 17 July 2022, will be work by painters, textile artists, ceramists, weavers, sculptors, jewellers, photographers and more. All pieces will reflect aspects of the hill fort or be inspired by the artists’ own personal relationships with the site.

Working closely together, museum staff and volunteers and the artists will be creating an experience for all the family – there will be special trails and other activities for younger visitors as well as weekend events planned to run alongside the exhibition.

Local textile artists Sarah Maddison and Annette Hobbs, together with painter Keith Pattison, are coordinating the artists taking part, many of whom will be new to the museum gallery.

Sarah commented: “Everyone involved in this project is really passionate about Danebury and our artists are really enthusiastic to celebrate this ancient site. It’s a place where you really feel the presence of our ancestors. Some of the artists have been able to visit HCT collection stores and see objects not currently on display. It is just amazing to hold a weaving comb or decorative piece in your hand knowing it is 2000 years old. The skill in design, making and decoration is unbelievable. Whether you are interested in history and archaeology, local ecology, are an artist or are simply a dog walker enjoying the countryside, chances are you will have wandered through the ancient ramparts at some point. We really hope the exhibition will appeal to everyone in our community.”

Archaeologists first began to explore the Iron Age earthworks over 50 years ago and, over 18 seasons, they continued to discover more remarkable finds and learned more about the Celtic community that lived and farmed there. Part of Andover Museum is now dedicated to Iron Age life and exhibits include some of the finest from the 20,000 objects discovered at Danebury.

Louise Mackay, Community Manager at the Museum of the Iron Age and Andover Museum, commented: “Our staff, volunteers and members of the collections team at Hampshire Cultural Trust have been working closely with local artists Sarah Maddison, Annette Hobbs, Keith Pattison to create this amazing co-curated exhibition. It’s wonderful to see the artists’ creations taking shape, inspired by the collections, museum and the magnificently important Iron Age site itself. We hope that this exhibition, workshops and family activities not only inspire visitors to create Iron Age or Danebury artworks of their own but also help to create an understanding of the astonishing examples of ingenuity, culture and creativity which our Iron Age ancestors possessed.”

Admission to the exhibition and Andover Museum and the Museum of the Iron Age is free with donations welcome. Some of the items in the exhibition will be available to purchase.

Museum, exhibition, café and gift shop opening times are 10.00-16.00 Wednesday to Sunday.