The Riverside: Information

Wales to the World

Wales to the World: celebrating maps in a brand new exhibition

On Saturday 23 September, an exciting new exhibition of maps from the National Library of Wales will open at the Riverside Gallery, Haverfordwest.

The Wales to the World exhibition will display a selection of maps from the more than 1.5 million objects cared for in the National Map Collection in Aberystwyth. The exhibition ranges from the oldest map in the National Library of Wales to newly commissioned artworks, funded by Welsh Government’s Anti-racist Wales Action Plan.

Highlights of the exhibition include Cambriae Typus by Humphrey Llwyd - the earliest printed map specifically of Wales, a Cold War map of Pembroke Dock secretly drawn by the Soviet Union, 17th century playing cards on a map theme, and a German propaganda map quoting David Lloyd George. Brand-new artworks inspired by the map collection will also be on display for the first time in this exhibition, alongside the items that inspired them.

The new exhibition covers the development of Wales on the map, maps as tools of learning and play, and the power of maps to persuade and mislead us. The exhibition was created by Ellie King, Assistant Map Curator at the National Library of Wales. Ellie is a newly qualified librarian and has been mentored by the exhibitions team as part of the National Library’s commitment to providing learning and development opportunities for staff.

Ellie King said:

“Curating this exhibition has been a voyage of discovery, and it has been a privilege to delve into the history of some of the National Library of Wales’ cartographic treasures. I hope they will help to showcase the extraordinary breadth of the map collection. I am particularly pleased to be able to include the artistic responses to the collection by Mfikela Jean Samuel and Jasmine Violet, which highlight the enduring power of the maps held here in the National Library, as well as the need to consider them from new perspectives.”

Rhodri ap Dyfrig, Head of Marketing and Audiences at the National Library of Wales, said:

"We are proud to be partnering once again with the Riverside Gallery to share our collections with a wider audience, and also to be providing opportunities for curatorial staff development. The maps themselves offer a fascinating and valuable insight into how Wales saw itself and how it was seen by others in the world at different periods through history."

To coincide with this exhibition a programme of events and education workshops will take place at the Riverside Gallery, starting with a conversation session between the artists Mfikela Jean Samuel and Jasmine Violet and Ellie King on 19 October at 5:00pm. Full details will be available on the Riverside Gallery website and Facebook page soon.

Showing alongside the Wales to the World exhibition is the permanent exhibition Pembrokeshire: Past and Present, focusing on the history, culture and landscape of Pembrokeshire, which will display a selection of new items this season.

Both exhibitions will run until Saturday 24 February 2024.

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ID: 5251, revised 03/11/2023