Cornish illustrator brings treasure stories to life
Tuesday 3rd August, 2021
A Cornish illustrator is bringing astonishing stories of deep-sea discovery to life under visitors’ feet at Charlestown’s award-winning Shipwreck Treasure Museum.
Writer and artist Felicity Tattersall has put her artistic skill to use by creating a series of illustrations on the floor at the museum which has housed Europe’s largest private collection of shipwreck treasure salvaged from beneath the ocean for more than 40 years.
The artwork, which cover more than 100m2 of floor space within the attraction, introduces some of the museum’s artefacts that visitors will spot later during their visit. Felicity drew them as detailed line drawings that were then hidden amongst large visceral watercolour paintings of seaweed.
“As a former museum curator and National Trust cataloguer, I’ve always had a passion for historic museum objects and the stories they can tell us. The Shipwreck Treasure Museum is utterly captivating. We wanted to create an entrance experience for visitors which is worthy of the many emotions and sensations that the visit inspires.
“I adore that the collections are encrusted with rust and barnacles and speak to us about their former lives and convey their survival in very different environments. The museum is a chronicle of ‘lost' and ‘found’, human stories and fragments of many lives touched by military conflict, tragedy, or navigational miscalculation.
“The greatest tool we have is our imaginations. We aimed to fire up the visitor's imaginations, enabling them to become treasure seekers, to uncover the artefacts for themselves in the floor, to set the tone for all of the wondrous artefacts they would see during the museum visit.”
Lynné Raubenheimer, Visitor Engagement Manager at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum said:
“Our thousands of amazing, centuries old artefacts on display provide a unique window into the past. The wrecks and the oceans that concealed them acted as an impenetrable time capsule. That is until the mid-20th Century when divers, fuelled by a spirit of adventure and passion for history, finally had the equipment available to start rediscovering them.
“Felicity’s incredible work adds beautifully to the whole magic, romance and intrigue of our displays. Creating an even more immersive experience for young and old alike when they visit us, helping us connect with history.”
The museum is open seven day a week from 10am to 5pm daily. To find out more and pre-book tickets visit www.shipwreckcharlestown.com.