Adam Dant and the Archaeologists’ Dreams
Adam Dant, an artist best known for his stunning graphic-style cartographic drawings, came to us in 2014 with an unusual request:
‘I hope to augment my exhibition with some descriptions provided by archaeologists of how the urban environment appears in their dreams and nocturnal reveries.’
Through his work, Dant intends to preserve the history of the Temple of Mithras. What he has created is a stunning series of hand-drawn, sepia ink artworks detailing life throughout the two millennia of the City of London.
MOLA is uniquely placed to provide Adam with a glimpse into the dreams of the some of the people most intimately connected with the site, the archaeologists. Impassioned by the Bloomberg London finds being researched by MOLA specialists, Dant’s artwork explores archaeologist’s dreams.
The exhibition, The Homecoming, marks the first of a series of four new works for Bloomberg SPACE that examine the history and architecture of the City of London. Stepping in to the space, the first thing you come across is a series of 25 ink drawings that delve into the long and eventful history of the area. The illustrations explore the dedication of the Mithraeum, the 40ft giant’s staff supporting Gerrard’s Hall, Erasmus supervising the writing of Thomas More’s Utopia at his home in Buckelsbury and the story of the cult following of a young boy predicting the coming of the Biblical Shiloh.
This timeline helps place the centre piece, The Budge Row Bibliotheque, into context, which depicts the collision of time and memories across the history of the site. Queues of people in 1950s dress snake around the site containing not only the Temple of Mithras remains, but depictions of the major events detailed in the opening pieces.
In the centre of the exhibition space is a scale model of a Victorian-era cabman’s shelter. Previously known as symbols of the bustling City, the shelters were places where cabmen could rest and rejuvenate between journeys. Dant has put this one to good use; it houses audio recordings that detail the history of the area, and the dreams of archaeologists.
The Homecoming, exhibiting at the Bloomberg SPACE, is free and open to the public, Monday –Saturday, 11am-6pm, until 15th March 2015.
With Bloomberg, we undertook an oral history project to capture memories of the discovery of the Temple of Mithras.
MOLA and Bloomberg thank contributors to the Temple of Mithras oral history project with tea and poetry.
Sixty years on from the discovery of the Roman Temple of Mithras, we are working with Bloomberg on an oral history project.