Hadrian's Cavalry artist Karen MacDougall in action

Diary of a Hadrian's Cavalry Artist

Nine museums and archaeological sites took part in Hadrian's Cavalry art project, from Senhouse Roman Museum in the west to Arbeia in the east. Every young person involved was given the chance to work towards a Discovery Arts Award from Trinity College London.

The project was delivered by Karen MacDougall, a renowned artist experienced in leading arts and heritage projects with museums and creating public art. She helped inspire communities along Hadrian’s Wall and beyond about their heritage, then create art at different places along the Wall for public display.

Here are her personal views of the highlights of the project, including haikus depicting Karen's thoughts at the end of the process.

Diary of a Hadrian's Cavalry Artist

September 2016 - winning the bid

"I love Hadrian’s Wall. I came as a child and remember how the fort at Housesteads seemed to take forever to reach, walking up the long steep hill. In turn I have introduced the Wall to my own children. My son even called his first flute Birdoswald.

I know very little about the Roman Cavalry but quite a lot about the Romans through art projects from mosaics to mazes. I even painted backcloths for Art UK’s ‘Off the Wall’ project in the 2000s. I was also part of the projects lighting the Wall."

Mobile Cavalry at Tullie House

Learn more about Karen's work with a group of vulnerable adults to create a Mobile Cavalry at Tullie House.

Chamfrons On! at Arbeia Roman Fort

Discover how a homage to the horses' heads gripped the imagination of Hadrian's Primary School in Chamfrons On! at Arbeia.

Willow the horse at Senhouse Roman Museum

Read about how Maryport Junior School built a 14.2 hands tall replica of a cavalry horse in Willow the Horse at Senhouse Roman Museum.

Guide us into battle - Roman Army Museum

Find out more about the Girlguiding Haltwhistle District's progress in making horse head armour for the Guide us into battle display at the Roman Army Museum at Vindolanda.

Pieces of Vindolanda

Learn about the process undertaken by Haltwhistle First School puplis to craft a mosaic in Pieces of Vindolanda.

Signpost cape - Housesteads Roman Fort

Weather and a complicated site were both conquered to install a provocative piece of art in the landscape creating the Signpost cape at Housesteads.

The Corbridge Wall - Corbridge Roman Town

Read more about the building of a different sort of 'wall' by Corbridge First School in The Corbridge Wall at Corbridge Roman Town.

Cavalry scouting party - The Great North Museum: Hancock

A Plan B led to an evocative display made with the help of Milecastle School. Learn more in Cavalry scouting party at The Great North Museum: Hancock.

Here Come the Cavalry - Segedunum Roman Fort

Find out about the work involved creating a textile project with Percy Main School in Here Come the Cavalry - Segedunum Roman Fort.


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