THE MAP OF MUNDI
Saturday 12 January – Saturday 16 February
10am (Main Gallery)
Tickets & information 01202 280000
Bournemouth artist Michelle Rumney is inviting a very human response to her gallery work The Map Of Mundi at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, from Saturday 12 January – she’s calling on people to come along and be measured with string!
Michelle will then take the human lengths of string and work them into spirals that are slipped inside paper envelopes and fixed with a single cross stitch to be incorporated into grids for maps on an artwork that will build over the course of the exhibition and be added to in future shows.
At the centre of the exhibition is Michelle’s ‘map’ inspired by the famous Mappa Mundi – the largest surviving medieval map of the world – on show at Hereford Cathedral. Visitors will make their way through a forest of spirals strung together in an echo of the journey undertaken by medieval pilgrims to see the original map.
“The curved wall in the gallery will gradually fill with things made by visitors to the exhibition,” says Michelle, who will be hosting workshops in the gallery. “they could be drawn, doodled, written, sewn or made of string. I have strings from the Archbishop of Wales, a countess, a Great Dane and even a teddy bear from one little girl who was too shy to be measured herself.
“Each of the strings has its own energy, it is a thing of beauty in its own right. I was inspired by the medieval practice of Measuring to the Saint – measuring a person from head to foot. Time and space were measured and experienced quite differently in those days.” In the first week of the exhibition, visitors can find out just how long a league and a furlong are, see how far medieval hours and minutes went and where their own length in string might lead.
St Thomas Way
Michelle’s 2015 exhibition at Lighthouse, ‘Are we there yet? Mapping the Labyrinth’ was seen by University of Southampton Professor of Medieval Literature and Culture, Catherine Clarke. She invited the artist to collaborate with Research Fellow Chloe McKenzie on the St Thomas Way project, which launched in July 2018. This new heritage trail links Swansea and Hereford and loosely follows the medieval pilgrimage route of ‘The Hanged Man’, Welsh outlaw William Cragh. In 1290 he was hanged twice on the same day, but he miraculously came back to life while being ‘Measured to the Saint’ – Saint Thomas of Hereford. Reformed and in gratitude, he walked barefoot with the noose around his neck all the way from Swansea to Hereford Cathedral.
“The people that give me their string will join the 250 I have already collected as part of the project. They are all connected by these strings and are their tales are part of this story that has been going on for more than 700 years. I know from my last show at Poole that all sorts of people turn up and they all have stories to tell that become part of the bigger picture.”
As well as measuring with string there are further opportunities to take part and contribute to the work during the exhibition.
In the second week, from 22 January, Michelle’s sessions will be driven by the idea of the Mappa Mundi as a storytelling tool to explain the known and unknown worlds with visitors encouraged to map a personal ‘pilgrimage’ real or imagined. Subsequent workshops include looking at medieval and modern stories through the prism of social media, how local buildings and landscapes may have changed in 700 years, and looking at pilgrimage as a kind of medieval tourism.
For further information, interviews or review tickets please contact
e: [email protected]
t: 01202 781302
Notes to Editors
Please refer to the venue as either ‘Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts’ or ‘Lighthouse, Poole’ but not ‘The Lighthouse’ or ‘Lighthouse Theatre’.
Lighthouse Poole’s Centre for the Arts
Lighthouse’s vision is to be the leading arts centre in the South West of England. Lighthouse is a creative organisation and an iconic building that plays an integral part in the delivery of Poole’s arts strategy, as well as providing economic benefit and profile for the town. It is Poole’s cultural centre of excellence for live performance, film and visual art – an inviting, welcoming and exciting place that is a vital part of its community. It is a well-established venue with an excellent reputation for being a place to experience, enjoy and take part in a diverse high-quality arts programme. The venue is passionate about providing opportunities for learning and participation across all ages, and specifically for children and young people. Its stages offer professional artists, as well as amateur enthusiasts and community groups a place to perform and create work. Lighthouse also has an important role as a receiving venue for national and sometimes international touring work and is a creative destination that entertains, stimulates and inspires the people of the South West, and in particular the communities of Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset.
Lighthouse reopened in October 2016 following a £5.3million refurbishment. The centre was founded on the principle of inclusivity – to be of value and purpose to the whole community and not just a select few – and the changes that have been made will enable that vision to be more fully realised than ever. However, there are elements of our plans for which we still need to raise funds.
Lighthouse is a charity (Poole Arts Trust – registered charity number 275961) and is indebted to the generosity of its supporters. Whilst Lighthouse generates some income through ticket sales and its entertainment facilities, this income itself is not enough. More than ever, and as we get ready to launch exciting new plans, Lighthouse needs the support of the wider community to ensure that it continues to provide access to brilliant, world class cultural experiences and facilities for Poole, Dorset and the South West.