News  |  Posted June 2, 2015

Dig Art! 2015: Archaeology, Art and Photography Competition Deadline 19th July

Dig Art! 2015 logo

Closing date – Sunday 19th July. Get creative now!

Grab your cameras, pencils, paintbrushes and trowels because Dig Art! 2015 is uncovering Scotland’s creative potential through archaeology. Winning entries from this art and photography competition will be exhibited as massive banners in Glasgow as part of the European Association of Archaeologists Glasgow 2015 Conference and Our Place in Time Arts Festival in September. This international Conference, to be held in Scotland for the first time, will see thousands of archaeologists from across Europe flock to the city.

Dig Art! 2015 is open to all, whether you are a budding artist or smartphone photographer. There are three age categories, comprising Novice (under 16), Apprentice (16 to 24) and Artisan (25 plus) and the organisers are looking for everything from paintings and sculptures to archaeological plans and sketches. Inspiration does not only need to come from digs, as ‘archaeology’ can range from the smallest prehistoric arrowhead to imposing industrial landscapes.

Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said in support of the project:

“This is a wonderfully innovative competition and I would encourage people of all ages and levels of artistic ability to enter. I hope it will get people excited about archaeology, and enable them to celebrate it in a creative way that suits them best, whether that be through photography, drawing or another medium. I’m hopeful that we will attract a wide variety of pieces from a range of perspectives, celebrating the many faces of archaeology in Scotland.”

Participants can compete in four categories:

  • “Snap It!” encourages the use of photography to capture a site, monument, object or the people who visit or even uncover them.
  • “Wish You Were Here” seeks photographs which put the archaeology, and perhaps its visitors, within the drama of its wider landscape setting.
  • “Archaeology Is…” Mysterious? Beautiful? Muddy? This category is seeking artistic responses to archaeology and the medium is entirely up to you.
  • “Putting the Art in Archaeology” allows archaeologists, from dig volunteers to site directors, to present their artistic examples of plans, models, drawings and reconstructions.

A panel of expert judges, drawn from the worlds of archaeology, art and photography, will pick winners from each category.

Professor Thomas Joshua Cooper, celebrated landscape photographer and Dig Art! 2015 panel member, commented:

“During the conference and festival, Glasgow will be flooded with Sculpture, films, festivities and photography exploring the theme of archaeology. Dig Art! 2015 provides a great opportunity for people to join in and have their work showcased on a massive scale to both local and international audiences.”

In addition to the exhibition in Glasgow, a selection of winning entries will be published on History Scotland’s website ( A range of behind-the-scenes trips and private tours, photography courses, site and monuments passes, book vouchers, ‘Mac-talla Nan Creag’ CDs (from Firecracker Recordings) and t-shirts are also up for grabs. Further prizes will be announced throughout the competition.

A series of mini-competitions will run on Twitter and Instagram throughout the Dig Art! 2015 competition. These include #ArchaeoShelfies, which will encourage heritage employees to submit “artistic” photos of their work space, and #DigItBuildIt, where people can present archaeology in a range of forms such as cake, Minecraft, Lego and even yarn.

The competition is being coordinated by Dig It! 2015, the year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, and Forestry Commission Scotland, who encourage everyone to be inspired by the natural and cultural heritage within Scotland’s forests and woodlands.

Forestry Commission Scotland logoMatt Ritchie, Forestry Commission Scotland Archaeologist, said:

“We are really pleased to be supporting this competition, celebrating artistic creativity and sharing Scotland’s vibrant archaeological heritage. Art and archaeology have always been intertwined – and Scotland has a long and proud tradition of both archaeological art and artistic archaeology!”

Entries are welcome from today until midnight on Sunday 19 July. For additional details, including examples and full rules and regulations, please visit