Yinka Shonibare, ‘Creatures of the Mappa Mundi - Cicone Gentes’ - (sketch)

Meadow Arts commission, 2018 for Hereford Cathedral.

Yinka Shonibare, ‘Creatures of the Mappa Mundi -Monoculi’ - (sketch)

Meadow Arts commission, 2018 for Hereford Cathedral.

Yinka Shonibare - Creatures of the Mappa Mundi

24 January - 1 June 2019

Internationally celebrated artist Yinka Shonibare is creating new quilt artworks for Hereford Cathedral, commissioned by Meadow Arts.

Creatures of the Mappa Mundi is inspired by one of Hereford Cathedral’s treasures, the Mappa Mundi (the largest medieval map of the world to survive to the present day). Shonibare has invited diverse Herefordshire groups of people to contribute to the project by coming together for sewing sessions, intended to spark debate on current hot topics, including the environment and immigration.

The Hereford Mappa Mundi is a remarkable artefact with rich illustrations, some depicting strange people and animals, drawn by artists from various myths or the exaggerated descriptions of travellers to far off lands. Shonibare was inspired by these creatures to create a series of figures both realistic and supernatural, for a series of textile hangings that will be shown at the Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi & Chained Library exhibition space from 24 January to 1 June 2019.

Meadow Arts and Hereford Cathedral invited a range of local groups to meet Studio Shonibare at the Cathedral Cloisters in October, to hear about the project. Groups from the Courtyard Hereford’s Creative Ageing project; Diploma in Art & Design students from Hereford College of Arts; Rose Tinted Rags and charity for disabled people, Echo; young people from SHYPP (Supported Housing for Young People Project) and Hereford River Carnival will all be taking part in the project. The aim is to stimulate lots of interesting discussions about the environment and immigration. A short film of the process will be made to accompany the artwork.


See also: Yinka Shonibare interviewed by Francine Stock 24 January 2019


Supported by Herefordshire’s a Great Place, a Herefordshire Cultural Partnership cultural development project delivered by Rural Media. Great Place is co-funded by Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery, with support from Historic England.




Hereford Cathedral
5 College Cloisters
Cathedral Close
01432 374200


The main cathedral and exhibition space, which houses the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library, is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a charge to enter the exhibition, but carers are entitled to free access. There is an interactive tactile model of the Mappa Mundi, with a description of key parts of the map, as well as Braille. Braille guides to the exhibition are available to borrow, and there is also a large tactile map of the Mappa Mundi. Although there is not a separate audio guide, there is an audio commentary on the video about the Mappa Mundi.

For accessibility information about other parts of the cathedral, please click here.