This summer Wrexham Museum will be the location for a journey of a lifetime from the northern hemisphere to southern Africa to experience the rock art of the San|Bushmen.
As part of the Year of Adventure in Wales, Wrexham Museum have teamed up with the British Museum to showcase thousands of years of these beautiful and intriguing works. Sacred Spaces: The Rock Art of the San|Bushmen is showcasing several digital objects from the British Museum’s African Rock Art Image Project to record some of Africa’s oldest art. The imageshighlight the symbols, culture and beliefs of tens of thousands of years of not just San|Bushmen, but of all human history.
The exhibition divides into three areas. In the Interpretation Zone visitors will be able to enjoy high quality digital photographs of thousands of years of rock art in situ in the southern African landscape. Visitors will be ready then to move into the Immersion Zone and experience the rock art brought to life in a specially created film produced by three animators from Glyndwr Wrexham University, Sarah Taylor, Nathalie Vaughan-Watkins and Meg Roberts. Finally in the third area, the Interactive Zone, adults and children will be able try their hand at producing their own art inspired by the skill and artistry of the rock art creators and enjoy the learning activities inspired by the animals of southern Africa.
Elizabeth Galvin, Curator of the African Rock Art Image Project at the British Museum, said “All humans come from Africa, and the continent’s rich rock art tradition is our shared human history. Rock art is a direct link with people who lived tens of thousands of years ago in which we can see not just the skill and artistry of its creators, but the symbols, animals and events that were important to them. As rock art is susceptible to damage from both natural and man-made events, a key aim of this project is to record and promote the open access of these images to make them available worldwide to both scholars and the general audience. We are pleased to be working with Wrexham County Borough Museum and Glyndŵr University, and hope residents and visitors to North Wales alike enjoy exploring the fascinating and beautiful world of San|Bushmen rock art.”
For further information about the African Rock Art Image Project, please visit britishmuseum.org/africanrockart
Georgia Mallin, Dorset Foundation Head of National Programmes at the British Museum said, “Part of the British Museum’s founding mission as the first national public museum in the world is to ensure people throughout the country have access to our collection. We can only do this by working in partnership with museums across the UK, so we’re delighted to be partnering with Wrexham Museum to create this unique exhibition. The collaboration with Glyndwr Wrexham University – as well as the Interactive Zone – brings a wonderfully fresh perspective.”
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities and Partnerships, said
“Sacred Spaces is our second ‘Windows on the World’ exhibition and the latest project in our ongoing partnership with the British Museum.
The exhibition is not only a chance for locals and visitors to the town to see the collections of British Museum here in North Wales, it has also provided opportunities for local schoolchildren to learn about other cultures and for design students from our local university to work with staff from the two museums.
The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of activities including African music and dancing in the town centre and a series of art workshops for families with children during the school holidays.
Thanks to the investment that Wrexham County Borough Council continues to make in its museum service, I look forward to building on this important partnership with more ‘Windows on the World’ exhibitions in the coming years.”
Sacred Spaces opens to the public on June 25th. The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of events including rock art workshops (3rd & 5th August), an African music and dance day (6th August), an African Nights sleepover (26th August) and drop in art activities each Tuesday during the school holidays.
Anyone visiting the museum will also notice the artwork produced by the pupils of Ysgol Plas Coch, Ysgol Bryn Alyn, Rhosddu Primary School and Hafod y Wern Primary School, inspired by the rock art of southern Africa and on show at the entrance to the museum.
Sacred Spaces is on show at Wrexham County Borough Museum until 27th August 2016. Admission is free. There is a small charge for some of the events.
The British Museum’s national programme of touring loans and exhibitions is generously supported by the Dorset Foundation in memory of Harry M Weinrebe.
The African Rock Art Image Project is supported by the Arcadia Fund.
British Museum Press Office: +44 (0)20 7323 8583 / 8394