Exhibition Proposal Summary
Title: Identity in early medieval Wales
Exploring the concept of multiculturalism in Early Medieval Wales and how this created a sense of identity and community.
Nature of project: Exploring the concept of identity and multiculturalism in Early Medieval Wales through an exploration of language and archaeological finds. The narratives follow the lives of 4th-7thc Britons, supported by the collections of standing stones and various other early medieval artefacts representing the diverse communities living at this time. The languages are present on these standing stones. (Latin, Old Irish, Old Welsh) is the key focus-both from the archaeological perspective and the investigation into “identity.”
Audience: Local families, young creatives and older learners. These audiences are targeted at locals, meaning
exhibition content needs to be relevant and carry through the themes of locality and community. Motivations for visiting ranging from an interest in local history to general experience seeking. Young creative and older learners may expect and be more familiar with a structured learning approach which is information lead (written interpretations and objects on display) but the primary audiences of families may not engage with this method too well. (A hands-on approach to learning will prove suitable for both children and adults. A combination of discovery learning, as well as a guided learning experience, is needed to present this exhibition successfully. The theme is multi-layered, taking a complicated archaeological subject and presenting it in a way that is suitable for those with assumed no prior (or little prior) knowledge of the subject.
Purpose of the exhibition: This exhibition aims to help visitors become more aware of the concept of multiculturalism in early medieval Wales and develop a deeper understanding of the different identities present at this time. Visitors should walk away with a more comprehensive idea of what community and identity meant for the early people of Wales. Visitors will be given the chance to learn more about a subject not often discussed due to the previous lack of archaeological evidence. Visitors will leave with a better understanding of (their/Wales’s) heritage and possibly a deeper understanding of the positive impacts of a multicultural society and how it relates to them on a personal level.
Content and interpretive elements: The exhibition will be made up of 5 areas: Entrance, archaeology seating area, Language & Identity and community and culture. Each area will provide different types of engagement and build on different learning types.
Entrance/corridor of context: An emphasis on guided learning, providing foundations of information. A slow and gentle introduction, empty space and time to get accustomed to the environment. Seating at the entrance.
Visually aesthetic large format interpretation panels and a few object cases.
Archaeology area: A space for hands-on activities and discovery learning. Multimedia space, area for more abstract exhibition elements such as object handling sessions or focus group meetings. Plenty of communal seating, and a place for families to take a break from the more structured areas of the exhibition space.Language & Identity and Culture areas: Key focus point for the exhibition: introducing the themes of identity in practice. Interactive activities and elements are designed to get visitors involved and engaged. Activities could include a translation activity (language learning) and brass rubbings on tactile replica standing stones (arts & crafts). Follows into the culture area with lots of objects and varying interpretation panels. Objects here represent the varying cultures found in Wales at this time.
Visitor participation area: At the exhibition exit, explore the wider and more personal themes relating to the exhibition. Questions featured throughout, “where do you come from?” etc. Activities here include a Language board (encouraging visitors to write notes to each other in various languages they are aware of on replica standing stones) and digital screens with access to programmes exploring ancestry and cultures in a more contemporary setting.
Back to Top