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Artistic internship among sheepherders

ANTHEA affiliated artist Ellen Martine Heuser has ended her 8 month internship with Moesgaard Museum

Lyka and E.M.H. by Præstbjerg Naturcenter. Photo by Marie-Louise Andersson
Sylt, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo by Ellen Martine Heuser
Heathland workshop at Præstbjerg. Photo by Birgitte Munk

Funded by the EU education programme Erasmus+ and HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg, ANTHEA-affiliated visual artist Ellen Martine Heuser has completed an eigth-month internship related to ANTHEA. The internship was supervised by Mette Løvschal and hosted by Moesgaard Museum (DK).

The first part of the internship, was a period of practice-based knowledge production by the sheep farm Lystbækgaard (DK). Led by sheperdess Berit Kiilerich, Lystbækgaard is maintaining the seasonal grazing of the heathlands by Præstbjerg Naturcenter, Herning Municipality. Ellen Martine Heuser acquired the skills of sheepherding with 370 sheep, as well as competences regarding the processes of the biodiversity and rejuvenation practices in the heathlands. She was also introduced to herding practices and mobile fencing techniques of transhumant sheepherders in Schleswig-Holstein and Sachsen (DE).

The second part of the internship was a research-based period with knowledge production regarding prehistoric archaeology in Northern Europe. Additionally, Ellen Martine Heuser carried out a 60 meter wide earthwork in the podsolized sediments by Præstbjerg Naturcenter. This is a part of her artistic contribution to ANTHEA, titled Mindesmærke der synliggør sin væren i Heden (2023). The intervention was followed by a Heathland workshop by Præstbjerg, as well as writing texts and artistic proposals, reflecting and evaluating upon the learning outcome of the entire internship.