Story Maps

Storymaps for six Highland Museums. This project ran over a little over six months during 2014. Each of the six museums involved in the project - Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, The Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, Strathpeffer Museum of Childhood, Gairloch Heritage Museum, Dornoch Historylinks, and Grantown-on-Spey had its own Storymap, displayed when the Needed on a Journey exhibition was displayed in each museum’s location. The maps were printed in colour on white canvas, 1 metre x 2 metres,  in portrait orientation.

Each map was based on stories of the area. The stories might be a mix of traditional folk tales and legends, reminiscence, family and local history, the premise being that stories are among the vital things that people/communities take with them when they travel to distant places.

The stories were chosen during a workshop led by Bob Pegg, working with a group from each community, selected before the workshop took place after discussion between Bob and each museum

Not long after the first workshop, the same group took part in a second workshop with graphic artist John Hodkinson (Bob Pegg also in attendance), to produce the images used on the map, and to discuss how the images could be arranged, they were invited to bring along personal objects relevant to the stories. 

StrathpefferGairlochGrantownDornoch

John Hodkinson the artist took materials that came out of the workshops, including graphic images made during the workshops, old photographs and letters (copied in situ), photographs of personal objects and of objects from the museum’s collection etc. John (who lives in Cumbria) then made a digital version of the map and sent this to the Highland Print Studio in Inverness, who printed the finished map on canvas. 

Each map was launched in its home museum, during the hosting of the Needed on a Journey travelling exhibition, with a public ceilidh, an informal occasion where people who had a story on the map could tell that story, local singers/musicians/choir would perform, traditional stories of the area would be told and the audience would be given a cup of tea and a biscuit/home baking.

 map content will be an organic process, evolving from first discussions, through workshops, to the finished map.

Bob Pegg is a storyteller, musician and author, based in Strathpeffer. His recent publications include Highland Folk Tales and The Little Book of Hogmanay, both for The History Press. John Hodkinson is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, and was Senior Lecturer in Graphics at the University of Central Lancashire until his retirement in 2005. Bob and John have collaborated frequently over the past 50 years, and John is the illustrator of Bob's two books for The History Press.

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The maps all came together on the 30th November 2014 for display at the National Trust for Scotland Culloden Battlefield Centre. (click image for larger view)

Click on any map for a larger view of it
Click HERE for some of the individual illustrations.

© John Hodkinson 2015