Hadrian’s Wall 1900 is a collaborative project co-ordinated and exhibited by Northern Print, Newcastle upon Tyne, which brought together 60 printmakers from 3 print studios, each printmaker responding to a particular section of the wall. All of the prints can be viewed at nprnt.org.uk/hw1900
My section was Vindolanda, the site of a Roman frontier fort and post-Roman Christian settlements on Hadrians Wall between 74AD and the 9th century. Excavations remain live here, uncovering truly significant artefacts, which have provided an understanding of everyday and military life here on the frontier. Many of these are on display in the amazing museum on this site, among which, are the important Vindolanda Letters, wooden tablets covered in ink handwriting, proven to be the oldest surviving hand written documents in Britain (many now at The British Museum).
‘Vindolanda’ means ‘white lawn’ or ‘white field’ which refers to the pre-Roman landscape of the site, acid grassland with grasses and herbaceous plants. One of the most dominant of these is Agrostis capillaris, common bent grass which features prominently in this print.
The discoveries and the layers of building, demolition and occupation are the theme of this print, while referencing the origin of the site as a ‘white lawn’, from which it derives its name.