Gold logo for Alchemy, Artefacts Reimagined.

Archer series

Inspired by arrowheads from the grave of the Amesbury Archer, The Salisbury Museum.

Inspiration behind the artwork

Ann-Marie James’ inspiration for Archer came from arrowheads found in the 4,000-year-old grave of the ‘Amesbury Archer’. The barbed arrowheads demonstrate flint-working at its best, but the design is brutal – the barbs ensured that the arrowhead would not fall out, so the prey animal would bleed to death.    

These flints were part of a large hoard of ceremonial objects in the grave. Find out more about the Amesbury Archer here.

Ann-Marie said:

“The arrowheads interested me because they were made from flint, which involved a great deal of expertise, care and craftsmanship. This feels in some way at odds with the brutality of their purpose.”

Artist's techniques

Ann Marie chose two arrowheads for the Archer series, and began by making simple line drawings. She then created rubber stamps in a range of sizes. Using the stamps with white and gold ink, she built the composition of each painting, which she then worked into using acrylic paint and 24ct gold leaf.

Detail of the Amesbury Archer burial showing arrowheadf scattered around the skeleton.
Part of the Amesbury Archer display, showing how the arrowheads were scattered around the skeleton.
Six stamps created from the shape of the arrowheads of the Amesbury Archer.
Stamps created from the arrowheads for the Archer series.
Archer artwork , gilded with 24ct gold, from he Alchemy exhibition..
Detail from Archer 5 by Ann-Marie James, 2019. Acrylic and 24ct gold leaf on board, 60.9 x 45.5 cm.
Gold paintings from the Archer series, on display in the Alchemy exhibition at Poole Museum.
Archer series on display at Poole Museum.