ART EXHIBITION: St Barnabas archeological finds as art at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery

Artist Helen Higgins with one of her pieces of work inspired by finds from the St Barnabas dig
Artist Helen Higgins with one of her pieces of work inspired by finds from the St Barnabas dig

COINS, tools and pottery dating back thousands of years, found during archaeological excavations have inspired a series of artworks.

The historical treasures were unearthed in 2008, during the excavation of the new St Barnabas House hospice site in Titnore Lane, Worthing.

Artist and printmaker Helen Higgins was given access to the finds, which she then interpreted through a series of prints and mixed media works.

Her art is now exhibited alongside a number of the original treasures at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery.

Helen said: “I was very lucky I was given access to the finds.

“I was able to rummage through the boxes, handle the finds and decide what I thought captured different points in history.

“There were all sorts of things, some up to between 10,000 to 4,500 years BC, and other more contemporary things, such as belt hooks and buttons. Other artefacts I liked were a beautiful array of medieval coins.”

The diverse range of discoveries included Mesolithic and Bronze Age flint and flint tools, ceramic building materials and early Neolithic pottery, right through to medieval pottery.

Other finds were an old railway uniform button badge and a Royal Sussex Regiment button badge.

Helen, 26, from London, spent three days examining the objects, making preliminary sketches and taking photos before starting to produce the print and mixed media works, such as etching and reliefs.

She was commissioned to select a number of the finds from the St Barnabas House excavation and produce a series of work to be installed at the new hospice before it opens in March.

The prints displayed at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery are all for sale and the exhibition continues until May.