Maria Roy


Creating narratives around the perception, use and ecology of soil.

As an attempt to foster my relationship with soil and my immediate environment, I decided to embark on an archaeological mission in my garden. Through excavation, I identified and collected different types of soils, artefacts and eco facts that I categorised based on the geological strata at which they were found. With the excavated material I have created a collection of decorative vases and used the found artefacts to ornament the surfaces.

These pieces are a material representation of my archaeological journey and souvenirs of the site. The aim is to communicate how human activities impact the soil throughout history and subsequently discuss how the importance of soil has been neglected over time.

Due to Covid-19, my project became hyper-localised. Everything has taken place in the confinement of my London flat: collecting the materials during my excavation, processing them into the vases, even building a Neolithic kiln to fire the pieces. All the soil I extracted will return to the site it was sourced from and the kiln will be disassembled. Only a few remains will be left until perhaps someone from the future will uncover them again. I hope this project will help the soil and its species live, expand and regenerate

EXPERTS AND COLLABORATORS: Núria Morera, PhD Candidate, Prehistory Department, Autonomous University of Barcelona · R J Rickson, Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation, Cranfield Soil AgriFood Institute · Dr Albrecht Schneider, Geologist and President, SBX investments · Tatiana Muñoz Melo, Ceramicist and Kiln Designer / Builde

CREDITS: Giulia Zelig, Photographer

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Hollow Earth, July 2020 — Ceramics