Curators' Conversation: Ancient Mariner Big Read
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An exclusive conversation between the curators of the Ancient Mariner Big Read, Philip Hoare, Angela Cockayne and Sarah Chapman. Tune in as the curators share their thoughts and reflections, including their vision for the project and the unexpected results the quarantine has had on this global project.

Free to access, booking not required.

More about the Ancient Mariner Big Read

"The epic poem you need for quarantine" – The New Yorker

With an incredible 1.5 million views to date and plaudits including 'a truly amazing endeavour' and 'this is movingly beautiful', the Ancient Mariner Big Read has surpassed all expectations. Now audiences can experience the sweeping majesty and abiding influence of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 18th-century poem, The Rime, in full.

The project includes stunning works by international contemporary artists such as Cornelia Parker, Marina Abramović, Linder, Gordon Cheung and Gavin Turk, alongside 40 readings each by a familiar voice, including Marianne Faithfull, Iggy Pop and Lemn Sissay.

Commissioned by The Arts Institute, the Big Read is curated by director Dr Sarah Chapman, with writer Philip Hoare, and artist Angela Cockayne.

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Ancient Mariner Big Read

Stars of the stage and screen, arts and music transform one of English Literature’s most celebrated poems, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

An epic tale of adventure, fear and fascination this 18th-century science fiction has prophetic messages for the natural world, climate breakdown and mental health globally relevant in the 21st century. Free to access, this online audio/visual work comprises 40 daily online broadcasts narrated by celebrity voices. Each reading is paired with artwork by a renowned contemporary artist, and complemented by scientific, cultural and personal commentary.

'Narrenschiff', 2017, Kehinde Wiley. Three-channel digital film. Duration: 16:40 minutes. 'Kehinde Wiley: Ship of Fools', The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth | 29 September–20 December 2020

'Narrenschiff', 2017, Kehinde Wiley. Three-channel digital film. Duration: 16:40 minutes. 'Kehinde Wiley: Ship of Fools', The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth | 29 September–20 December 2020

The Arts Institute

The Arts Institute is the curated public arts programme of the University of Plymouth which plays a pivotal role in building culture and art in the city and South West region, supporting established, new and emerging artists from around the world.

It comprises The Levinsky Gallery, a space for engaging, contemporary artworks; the Jill Craigie Cinema which screens a diverse range of classic films and contemporary cinematic masterpieces; a cutting-edge theatre and dance programme in The House; musical performances and concerts, and a year-long series of fascinating talks that open up a world of art, literature and history.

Open to all – learn more about The Arts Institute

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. The University remains open with a safety-first approach to ensure our campuses are ‘covid-secure’ for our staff, students, local community and visitors, in accordance with government guidance.

University advice and guidance on COVID-19

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