Mantell was a four year project devised for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Working with schools and communities in Denbighshire it took the Mold Gold Cape – in the collection of the British Museum and featured in The History Of The World In 100 Objects – not as symbol of wealth and power but of cultural identity. A cape – a mantle – protects and offers warmth in just the same way as a sense of belonging does…
The project culminated in July 2012 with a celebratory event at Denbigh Castle in which, through a potent melange of puppetry, live music, animation and fire sculpture, an imagined mythology suggested by the making processes of the Mold Gold Cape was told by the young people who had devised it.
Over a thousand people came to the event, bringing together schools, communities, the British Museum, Amgueddfa Cymu – National Museum Wales, Cadw, Denbighshire County Council’s Countryside Service and a host of artists, performers and musicians.
The culmination was the lighting of a giant 3D fire drawing representing the Cape itself, within it projected images depicting the movement of gold atoms as they were hammered by a goldsmith of immense skill and great cultural status over 3,500 years ago.