Living Symbols of Kilmartin Glen, Kilmartin Museum, Argyll

Currently on display at Kilmartin Museum is a multimedia installation by John Was and Aaron Watson. Living Symbols of Kilmartin Glen was made in collaboration with the community of Kilmartin Glen, and explores the interpretation of prehistoric rock art. Contributors included foresters, scallop divers, charity groups, artists and school children.

The venue was carefully considered. The ‘Dark Room’ contains a dynamic audiovisual film that evokes the mystery of prehistoric motifs. In contrast, the ‘Light Room’ features over sixty sculptures by local people, each accompanied by titles and descriptions. They convey themes such as hope, family, achievement, death etc.

The sculptures present a privileged insight into the inspirations of the modern inhabitants which is in stark contrast to the ambiguity of the ancient symbols. While many of the modern sculptures bear figurative images, their meaning could not be deciphered without explanations provided by their creators. 


Living Symbols of Kilmartin Glen was commissioned by Kilmartin Museum and funded by Creative Scotland.

Aaron Watson