Pictish Arts Society lecture

Brechin Town House Museum
Brechin Town House Museum

The penultimate lecture in the 2014/2015 season of the Pictish Arts Society will be held on Friday, April 17, in association with Angus Council Museums.

The venue is the upstairs gallery of Brechin Museum in the High Street. The lecture will be given by Tasha Gefreh and is entitled ‘Iona on the Holy Frontier: the space of early medieval crosses’.

The rich survival of texts from Iona is unparalleled at other early medieval monasteries in what is now Scotland. One text in particular, ‘De Locis Sanctis’ (Concerning Sacred Places) was written by Adomnan, eighth Abbot of Iona and biographer of St Columba. Adomnan’s account of the Holy Land allows a glimpse into the early medieval conceptualisation of Holy Space on Iona.

The four extant free-standing crosses marked the sacred core of the enclosed monastery. The crosses were placed in order to create a sustained exercise of devotional enactment—a virtual pilgrimage—informed by Adomnan’s description of the Holy Land. This would have contributed to the sacredness of the entire island of Iona, enhancing its role as a centre of Insular pilgrimage.

Tasha Gefreh is a post-graduate student in History of Art at Edinburgh University. She is in the final stages of work on a PhD entitled ‘Place, Space and Time: Iona’s Early Medieval Crosses in the Natural and Liturgical Landscape.’

Previously, Tasha graduated BA from Creighton University, Nebraska and MSc in Medieval History from Edinburgh. Her main research focus in on the use of monuments both as a part of the landscape and in ritual practice.

Her aim is to gain insight into the minds and cultural resources of the early medieval population.

The Pictish Arts Society requests that advance notice be given by anyone attending who may require disabled access. This allows for assistance to be provided and for oversight of the potential requirement of escape in case of emergency. Advance notice may be advised to Stewart Mowatt on 01356 623981.

Doors open at Brechin Museum at 7 p.m. for a 7.30 start. Refreshments will be available after the talks, which are free to members and £2.50 to non-members. The date for the last lecture of the season is May 15.