by Caroline Vawdrey - 10:45 on 07 April 2013
The Nigg Pictish cross-slab, dating from the late 700s AD is of European significance, and a masterwork of design and skill. This weekend saw its unveiling after many months of conservation work. David Alston and I were privileged to be involved in the project as writers of the interpretive text.
It was inspiring and humbling to be writing about such a beautiful and complex art work. We always felt that we'd better make sure that we produced the best work that we were able to, in tribute, but that's a motivating and energising way to feel.
The Nigg Old Trust members, with whom we worked closely, have been pursuing the improved conservation and presentation of the cross-slab since 1991, an impressive feat of stamina and determination, for which they should recieve huge acclaim.
There was certainly huge local support for their unveiling event, with over 100 people present to hear accounts of the work from stone conservator Graciela Ainsworth and architect Martin Hadlington, and to queue to see the cross-slab. You'll see from the photographs, by trust vice-chair Alan Whiteford, that the new supports work beautifully, the simple, stylish modern structures highlighting the intricacy of the cross-slab carving.
We were pleased with our interpretation too - and with the design by Iain Sarjeant, whose clear cut understated style works so well here - as it does in the East Church, Cromarty where three of us also worked together.