Waking the Witch, touring exhibition


The museum has several objects on loan to a new touring exhibition.

‘The British Isles have a particularly strong relationship to magic and the occult, with the chants of witchcraft echoing throughout their history. Legion Projects is delighted to announce Waking the Witch, a touring group exhibition which will look to the importance of craft, ritual and land on the practice of the ever shifting figure of the witch.

Traditional witchcraft has a strong connection to the earth, with an intimate knowledge of herbs, plants and the elements – as well as the human body. As gatekeepers to altered consciousness and as communicators with non-human beings, witches have been both feared and sought out for their dealings with the unknown. Historically persecuted as an outsider, the witch has been taken on by artists as a challenging force to prevailing norms and as a symbol of dissidence.

Offering interpretations of both contemporary and historical witchcraft, the exhibition aims to reclaim the multifarious voices the witch has been given over the course of history, facilitating a speculative search for lost knowledge. Looking to symbols, tools and the coven as a space for focusing collective intent, the artists in this exhibition explore the path of the witch as one that inspires a deep communion with our natural surroundings, a connection to our intuitive powers and as a force for harnessing collective energy.’

Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, 15 Sep – 7 Nov 2018
Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, 1 May – 8 June 2019 TBA
Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, Sep – Oct 2019 TBA
20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, 18 January – 18 April 2020

Spellbound at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

We are delighted to announce that we have several items from the museums collection in this new exhibition in Oxford at the prestigious Ashmolean Museum.

‘Explore the history of magic over eight centuries in this immersive and thought-provoking exhibition. The intriguing objects on display show how our ancestors used magical thinking to cope with the unpredictable world around them. They range from the fantastical and macabre (a unicorn’s horn, a human heart encased in lead), the beautiful and mysterious (exquisitely engraved rings to bind a lover and medieval books of ritual magic), to the deeply moving confessions of women accused of witchcraft.

The exhibition asks us to examine our own beliefs and rituals, and aims to show how, even in this sceptical age, we still use magical thinking and why we might need a bit of magic in our lives.

To illuminate the links between past and present, specially commissioned works by contemporary artists provide dramatic responses to the themes of the show, conjuring demons, flames and the scuttling of malignant spirits.’

There has already been a huge amount of press coverage for the show and the lead actors from The League Of Gentlemen have said how much they enjoyed it when they visited. We think they should make the trip down to Boscastle next, seeing as we’re not just a local museum for local people……!



Iconic objects on show

Several months ago Simon flew to Ireland to meet with friends, Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone. Janet had kindly decided that she would like to pass on two iconic items …


Sneak peek at our new door!

Here’s a link to an interview with the artist Paul Atlas Saunders.  He has been busily creating a fantastic door that will greet people as they enter the Museum, to …


Letter from Cecil Williamson

We received a letter in the post which included a much older letter.  A visitor to the Museum had written to Cecil Williamson (Museum founder) in 1985 about labyrinths and …


“Beware of Bats” by Enora Boivin

Above, a painting by David Teniers the younger of a witch and a bat-headed demon. Pursuing my quest of archiving documents written by Cecil Williamson, I came across few documents related …


New additions to the Museum library

The Museum library has over 8000 titles in it.  This includes DVDs, VHS, audio, magazines, journals and books, books, books!  You are very welcome to book some time in the …


Museum objects in York exhibition

If you aren’t able to visit the Museum in Cornwall, a selection of our objects will be on display in York’s Barley Hall run by the York Archaeological Trust.  Their …


New Museum Mug!

It took us a while (lots of technical issues with the production company which we won’t bore you with here!) but the Museum has a new mug for 2018! It …


Straw Art for Lammas

As you may know, we change our window displays regularly to be in harmony with the seasons and to offer our visitors an understanding of the turning of the Wheel …

See the full historical diary archive here