Story Maps is our new project, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, Story Maps will see us working in partnership with Worthing, Newhaven and Hastings museums with support from University of Chichester’s Centre for Folklore and Fairytales.

Figment Arts are exploring the folklore and history of the South East coast.  We're going to be researching the stories and the places they come from and exploring museum collections which relate to these places.


The artists from the Figment Arts Studio will create work inspired by the heritage, and we will run workshops with the public, inviting them to take part and create folklore-inspired art.


We will exhibit the work across the South East, in Worthing, Brighton, Newhaven and Hastings.  This page is a blog about the progress of our project.

Folklore Map - click on the logos to view links

Worthing, Highdown and Lyminster

In April we started to go on research visits to Worthing Museum.  Thanks to the team there, especially Archaeological Curator James Sainsbury who talked us through the collection relating to Highdown Hill.


We learned about John Oliver, the eccentric miller who had his tomb built 30 years before his death, and was involved in local smuggling.


We got to see some of John Oliver's personal artefacts up-close, as well as Roman and Saxon finds from Highdown Hill.

Smugglers!

Based on what we had learned at the Museum, we ran a workshop for the public at Highdown Gardens on the theme of Highdown Hill.  The workshop was during the Easter holidays and we had lots of young children and families taking part.  We love the results!

Dragon Hunting!

On May Day, we headed out to Lyminster, to hunt for the Knucker, a local dragon that lived in a bottomless pool, terrorising the locals.  One day a local lad called Jim Puttock (or Pulk) came up with a cunning plan.  He made a giant pie laced with poison and fed it to the dragon.  His plan worked and the dragon was defeated.  To celebrate, Jim went to the local ale house and had a pint of beer to celebrate.  Unfortunately for him, after taking a drink, he licked his fingers which still had traces of the poison upon them, and he ended his own life.


We found the local church to have a wealth of references to the story, including the fantastic stained glass window.  Sadly the Knucker Hole itself is completely inaccessible and even barred from view! 

Open House and pop-up studio

Thanks to support from Artists Open Houses and Hanningtons Brighton, we are able to launch our project this May, at number 2 Hanningtons Lane. We were exhibiting art work from our Brighton Fringe Award Winning Artists Open House and inviting people to drop in to tell us your story, browse our pop up folklore library and take part in our collaborative painting activity.


Some numbers:

330 visitors

115 participants

5 collaborative paintings


We created collaborative work on the following themes:

The Knucker Hole, Devil's Dyke, Chanctonbury Ring, The Giant Bevis Hampton and Black dogs & Ghostly Hounds.

Newhaven...

We've been visiting Newhaven Museum and exploring the town as our research turns to Newhaven and the surrounding area.  The museum is full of personal stories, and there are strong international links with Newhaven being an important port along the south coast.

We are running a public workshop as part of Look Again - Newhaven Supergraphics Festival.  The festival runs for the whole month of June and marks the launch of 17 new artworks installed around the town.