Little Labyrinth #409 Horseman spiral


A simple piece of blue coloured thread – measured and cut to a 5’10” or 178 cm length –  ie. the height of a person – is spiralled carefully around a line drawing of a man on horseback within a square of delicate tracing paper framed with red stitching over a soft yellow background. The horseman is a detail from the infamous Mappa Mundi (c.1290) – the huge medieval map of the world housed at Hereford Cathedral in England.

This piece is mounted on recycled cardstock and framed in a pale wood effect 23 x 23cm” box frame

In stock (can be backordered)


Measuring to the Saint

St Thomas Way is a modern pilgrimage trail inspired by the medieval story of William Cragh. He was hung in Swansea in 1290, but miraculously came back to life. He was sure he’d been saved by Thomas, the late Bishop of Hereford and walked barefoot from Swansea to Hereford Cathedral to say ‘thank you’.

In those days, it was common practice to measure the bodies of the sick, needy or dead, by running a length of string or thread from the top of a person’s head to the tip of their toes. This length would be curled up and sent to the nearest cathedral or priory, where the monks would make it into a candle, light it, and then pray for the person’s eternal soul.

It was when he was being measured to the saint that William came back to life. The idea that something as humble as a simple piece of string might connect this world and the next, or be able to spark life into our very souls, inspired artist Michelle Rumney, to use the medieval practice of ‘Measuring to the Saint’ as a starting point to create an exhibition for the launch of St Thomas Way.

St Thomas Spirals

Telling the tale of William Cragh as she went, she measured over 250 people (and one great dane and a teddy bear) with string, then coiled up each string and created a huge artwork for Hereford Cathedral from them.

This spiral is made from the same medieval practice of measuring. It is the artist’s length – a simple act of measuring the body from head to foot in thread, then coiling the thread into a simple spiral. But bound to the board, the spiral is now many other potential things. It’s a spiral, a labyrinth, a journey – a person, a spirit, a life – a prayer, a meditation, a thought – a colour, a drop, a microcosm -a movement, a rhythm, a poem – a whole world in itself…

Little Labyrinth #409 Horseman spiral was last modified: July 28th, 2020 by Michelle Rumney

Additional information

Weight .5 kg
Dimensions 23 × 23 × 3 cm


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