visit the ship of the Ancient Mariner

16th May, 2016 - 17th May, 2016

16 Fai, 2016 - 17 Fai, 2016

Starts | Dechrau: 10:00am

Ends | Diwedd: 11:30am

Exhibition / Display

Arddangosfa / Arddangos

Mermaid Quay

Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AL



The Ship of the Ancient Mariner
by Parry & Glynn

Four times fifty living men
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner. S. T. Coleridge

Two hundred men die on a ship because the Ancient Mariner killed the albatross. Coleridge’s adventure tale is one of the greatest poems in the English language.

The mariner shoots the seabird. The spirits of the South Pole blow the ship to the equator where everybody perishes in burning heat, except the Mariner.

He remains in living death until he is given the capacity to be a blessing to the sea creatures.

The crew rise up, as zombies, and sail the mariner back to the Bristol Channel to deliver his story.
- - -

What are our capacities for unthinking destruction? How do we recognise and talk about them? What do we do individually and corporately that destroys the natural world and our relationship to it? What does it mean to have the human capacity to be a blessing to the natural world and to each other. How do we host the natural world. How do we host each other? How do we allow ourselves to be hosted by the planet? What does the word ‘host’ mean?

Where are the people who wore these clothes lying on the deck of the ship amongst the seaweed? How many people will die as a result of global warming? What will be the impact Welsh Government ground breaking Future Generations legislation on sustainable development in Wales? Where are the institutions that understand both our destructive and creative capacities? How can we learn and migrate to new patterns of living and culture?

Coleridge gave a warning to 19th century Britain that it should include landscape and relationship at the heart of economic, scientific and cultural development. His genius on addressing these questions was lost in the 20th century. He has been forgotten.

Engravings by major artist David Jones are displayed this summer in Gallery 1 of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. David Jones saw the Ancient Mariner as a celtic mystery and magic adventure. He also lamented loss of understanding in the 20th century of how symbols operate in culture. The engravings, poem and essays are available in a book published by Enitharmon Press.

The ship of the Ancient Mariner has been prepared for the Coleridge in Wales festival by students from Cardiff Met University.

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