Visual Arts


Re-making Maps of the Mind: Medieval and Modern Journeys

Since her previous exhibition here, which was full of pathways, maps and labyrinths, artist Michelle Rumney has been on quite a journey. Tracking the story of the medieval Welsh outlaw, William Cragh, who was hung in the year 1290, but who miraculously came back to life, the artist has been exploring St Thomas Way - a new heritage trail inspired by this story which threads from Swansea to Hereford.

As artist-in-residence for this medieval mystery, based at Hereford Cathedral with its infamous Mappa Mundi - the largest surviving map of the world of its kind - Michelle has created a new body of work reflecting medieval concepts of time and space. What could this 700-year old ‘miracle’ story have to teach or inspire us? Find out in this touring exhibition and accompanying workshops, led by the artist.

Michelle will be in the gallery 3-4 days per week, working - exploring a different theme each week, also engaging with visitors and running workshops for both the public and special groups.


14 Jan - Week 1 theme: 

“How Long Is a Piece of String? - Medieval & Modern Measurements”

Some of the artwork in the exhibition 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 - find out just how long a league and a furlong are, see how far medieval hours and minutes went and where your own length in string might lead you…


22 Jan - Week 2 theme: 

“Re-Framing Our World - Medieval & Modern Mapping“

Arguably, the 13th century Mappa Mundi wasn’t a map at all, but a storytelling tool to explain the known and unknown worlds. Using the Mappa Mundi and local Google StreetView as possible starting points, learn to make sense of your surroundings and your relationship to it in different ways. Challenge what a map is for and how it helps you make a journey. Map a personal ’pilgrimage’ and see what unfolds… a creative mapping workshop that will give you new tools to use when you next make a journey, either real or imagined.


29 Jan - Week 3 theme: 

“Oyeh, Oyeh! in 140 characters or less? - Medieval & Modern Stories“

News and stories travelled faster than we might imagine in Medieval times in all sorts of ways. If William Cragh’s miracle story happened today, it would be perfect Twitter and Instagram content - it would go viral, no doubt. What would the headlines be? Which images would accompany the text and in which language would that be? What would be considered ok and not ok? How does the past intertwine with the present? How far and how long could a story spread? How has storytelling changed? What can we learn from then and use today?


5 Feb - Week 4 theme: 

“Do you see what I see? - Medieval & Modern Buildings & Landscapes“

The local landscape of Poole and Dorset, here as in most places, has drastically altered over the past 700 years. Standing here now, what might it have looked like then? How did people see the world around them, how did they experience it and move through it? 

Has architecture actually changed that much since Medieval times? How were buildings designed and built and what’s changed since? What was the plan for the town as a whole? 

What can we see of then now - where are the ghosts, the clues, the ‘proof’? What can we learn from the very earth itself? In which ways is this useful in thinking about how we design and create buildings and landscapes in the future?


12 Feb - Week 5 theme: 

“On Pilgrimage… Medieval & Modern Journeys“

In the 13th century, if you wanted to travel safely in England or abroad you went on Pilgrimage - it was the Medieval version of Tourism today. What do we know of pilgrimages originating here in Poole? What was a journey of this kind like? Where and how far could you go? Who with? How often? Why? Where were the most popular destinations? 


  • Click here to find out more about the show.
  • Click here to find out more about the touring exhibition.
  • Click here to find out more about the initial project.
  • Click here to view a video about the project.

Follow the main project's twitter feed: @stthomasway