The Völund Stones
The “Völund Stones: Weland the Smith” is a work in progress. It is the cover artwork and opening pages of an eight page comic retelling the story of Weland the Smith. This project draws on a collection of early medieval artefacts and carvings in order to retell the story of Weland (or Völundr) the smith.
This retelling emphasises the complexity of the smith’s identity including his cyborgian character as a transformer of things and a transformer of self. The project also draws attention to the monstrous, material and artefactual components inhered with Weland’s identity as his story was adapted and distributed in the early medieval world.
This is achieved in comic-strip format, representing an original style of retelling the story which aims to be widely comprehensible and engaging. The original idea, artwork and design is the work of cartoonist and archaeologist Hannah Kate Sackett. Archaeologist Howard Williams provided suggestions and guidance on the re-telling’s literary and material dimensions, relating to his on-going research on the Past in its Place project funding by the European Research Council.
The judges were blown away by the carefully considered interplay between the source material and the artistic representation through the comic media form. They complimented the playful but purposeful art-style and highly praised how accessible heritage information was when presented in this captivating way. The composition, thematic integration, resonance and potential for impactful implementation of the pieces in the real-world particularly stood out to our judges who are all sincerely looking forward to seeing how this project develops in the future. The quality and depth of the paradata likewise stood out as exemplary – being written in a way which was at once informative, fun and engaging for a wide array of audiences, leading our judges to crown this piece as the winner of the online team jam for 2015.