The Cycles of Truth: Extreme Animation at Revolution Bike Park

The Cave Hunters And The Truth Machine

Revolution Bike Park, Llangynog, 8th & 9th December 2021, 6-8pm.

Extra date!

21st December, 6 – 8pm

For events details scroll down

In 1578, as he translated the Old Testament into Welsh in Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, William Morgan’s universe was by and large defined by what we would consider mythology. The Church was custodian of the scriptures; the keeper of Truth.

Just two hundred years ago this, for the majority, was still the case. It was held that the bones of exotic creatures unearthed in the caves of Wales and England had been washed in by The Deluge – Noah’s flood. The mechanism of extinction had not yet been recognised, for how could God abandon any part of his Creation?

The Cave Hunters And The Truth Machine is an immersive experience, using dreamlike animation and sound to chart the dawning of the age of science in the nineteenth century. This new Truth proved (somewhat heretically) that the world was much older than had been thought – and that changes in climate had caused our landscape to be populated at different times by beasts of both cold and warm climates. 

The principal agent within this narrative was the adaptable hyaena, now absent but an integral part of this landscape for well over half a million years and therefore, perhaps, an indigenous species.

Prominent amongst the ‘Cave Hunters’ (Victorian gentleman explorers – often, somewhat ironically, men of the Church – who excavated long empty hyaena dens and argued vociferously over the detail of this paradigm shift) was Sir William Boyd Dawkins, born in the vicarage at Buttington Trewern near Welshpool in 1837.

Now, once again, society has an increasingly uncomfortable relationship with science, condemning or dismissing it when it fails to yield clear cut answers or raises inconvenient truths. And we are perhaps more anxious and discontented than ever…

Is it possible that in turning our backs on mythology we kicked away a vital crutch, evolved over many generations to help us come to terms with an unfathomably vast and ever-changing universe?

The event is FREE.

It takes place in the open air. Wrap up warm!!! Bring a torch.

The piece is 25 minutes long.

There are two shelters each with space for 4 people. These can be reserved on a ‘bubble’ basis for half hour slots.

Please visit to book a slot.

On the 9th December each booked slot comes with a specially commissioned pie (one per person) made in collaboration with Pantri Peniarth, Penybontfawr. Soup will also be available. Please bring a mug.

Yr Oriel @ Loggerheads

The first activity of the project has been to establish an exhibition in the lovely gallery at Loggerheads Country Park – which, in many ways, functions as a gateway to the landscape.

The works here aims first and foremost to establish a context for forthcoming activity founded on an expanded timeframe telling of constant flux and the need to embrace change (rather than fear it, as we increasingly seem to).

And also to highlight the cross-disciplinary nature of the project, an ethos which for all the ‘blah’ out there remains difficult to establish and maintain. Why do our institutions have such silo mentalities? Of course there is a great deal to balance, but there is such value in conversations that remain agonisingly difficult to make happen, which often rely on the goodwill of passionate people – and are claimed by these leviathans only once they have flowered…

The text panel in the case in the centre of the Oriel space says:

Remembering Forwards: Time, Change, Loss And Return

Humans have always used animal bone to travel through time; to divine the future.

Ice Age animal bones found in limestone caves, both here in the hills of Clwyd and elsewhere in Wales and England, are yielding important insights into the impacts of abrupt climate change. By exploring the past we gain understanding which can help us shape a better future.

Equally, beyond modern science, people the world over and throughout time have used animals as a lens through which to make sense, express and remember their experience of the universe. Indeed, within the story of our species, Western science is a very recent development.

Rod Mason, an elder of the Ngarigo people in Australia says;

Our ancestors didn’t have books, but we had good memory. We wrote our journey on the landscape and in the landscape, and even to this day we can read our story backwards from here.

We’ve got stories of the ice age, the animals that came, and the animals went – animals you never see no more. So we’re part of the extinction world.

As, perhaps, are we all now.

Cave palaeontologist Professor Danielle Schreve, naturalist and antiquarian John Blore and artist/animator Sean Harris are explorers and time travellers of this extinction world, each using their own devices and mechanisms to reach understanding and find meaning. Here, they are brought together, summoned by the calls of fabulous beasts which once inhabited these hills and now linger both in the dark spaces of our imagination and – as contemporary science shows – within a geology whose traces are present in our own bones and teeth.

You can see the video on display – a projection onto stone and a taste of things to come – here:

You can find out more about the images on the walls here:

Raising the Ghost Menagerie

On the 12th, 13th, 14th & 18th November we will transform the watermill at Loggerheads into a camera obscura. Through the magic of animation, the waters of the Alyn will stir up the ghosts of the lost beasts of Gilbert Pidcock’s Ghost Menagerie, bringing them to life once more.

On the 19th & 20th November we will present The Cave Hunters And The Truth Machine on the river bank behind the Oriel. This unique and mesmerising animated work explores the ways in which the bones of Ice Age creatures have shaped our understanding of vast natural forces including catastrophic flooding and climate change. In charting this narrative – of the transition from a universe defined by mythology to one of science – it asks questions of the ways in which we form truth

Both events are free but may be subject to COVID-19 restrictions so please check for details before travelling.

For information relating to accessibility, COVID and weather related updates please call Loggerheads Country Park:

01824 712757