Invited by Marisa Vescovo, an Italian curator, to submit a proposal in the form of a 1-1 scale drawing for a sculptural work to be executed in white Carrara marble by craftsmen at a workshop because of Callery’s exhibition history in Italy and his long-term collaboration with archaeologists in the UK, this project engaged a number of selected international contemporary artists in working with a material associated with Italian artistic traditions, presenting an opportunity to work in an international context and make connections with ongoing research into the relationship between archaeology and art.
Submitting a drawing developed from an excavation site he had worked on in Oxfordshire (Segsbury Camp) that depicted the gullies of an Iron Age round-house and a complex of storage pits, in order to connect the signs of a pre-Roman settlement in England with a material readily associated with Imperial Rome, Callery effectively brought these two histories together and recorded in the marble the evidence of a culture that was to disappear with the arrival of the Romans to Britain. Involved with detailed discussions with the craftsmen in Carrara as the work was in progress, the physical notion of the excavation site was an accurate way of helping them to understand how the linear forms should be excavated into the marble.
The finished 2m x 1.5m sculpture was first exhibited in Italy in ‘Disegnare II Marmo’, Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara (23rd October 2004 - 27th February 2005) and included 41 artists from Europe, USA and South America including Joseph Kosuth and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Selected works were chosen from this exhibition to form a part of the large public exhibition ‘Open 2005 – 8th International Exhibition of Sculpture and Installation’, Venice, Lido (31st August - 2nd October 2005).