Misguides and gargoyles

This weeks tasks had me really engaging with the idea of guides; an idea that I unexpectedly enjoyed. One of the tasks that we were given was to create a map, any type of map, but it had to be unconventional. My partner and I wandered around the cathedral, drawing freehand lines in correspondence to where we walked. We were originally going to recreate the shape of the map with objects we found on our walk. However we were then rapidly distracted when we found controversial gargoyles. This then took us onto a completely different track, and we then started to mark down on the map where the controversial and simply out of place gargoyles were on the cathedral. Within his book Mythogeography, Phil Smith stated that ‘after a while certain things may begin to connect and once that starts happening, without obsessively pursuing a story, you can begin, collectively, to ‘compose’ your drift, allowing what has happened so far to determine your next choices’ (Smith, 2010, 199). This slight tangent that we allowed our drift to go on meant that we developed something that truly interested us, something that was inspired purely from the site itself. I particularly like the idea of a misguide around the cathedral, creating elaborate storied about why and how theses particular statues are here. Allowing people to look beyond the typical tourist view of the cathedral, and discover new information about a place they may have thought they knew so well. Below is the map we drew and some photos of the gargoyles we found on our journey.

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As well as experiencing this oddly enlightening drift around the cathedral, we also explored the misguide. Despite finding this exercise difficult at first, it turned out extremely fun and interesting, both as ‘performer’ and audience. Although the facts aren’t true, the audience are shown a new and sometimes outrageous perception of a place. For example there were several misguides that took place, all with brilliant ‘stories’. Each one brought a new perception to the area around where St Paul in the Bail church once stood, and ultimately I’ll now see that place in a completely different light.

Smith, P. (2010) Mythogeography: A Guide to Walking Sideways. Devon: Axminster Triarchy Press.

The old and the new

Whilst walking around the Cathedral quarters, Castle grounds and the surrounding areas, I discovered a side to Lincoln I never knew before. Wandering off the beaten track, down alleyways and through hidden gardens opened my eyes up to Lincoln’s rich history that I knew existed, but had never witnessed. It was the architecture of the buildings that fascinated me the most. The clear contrast between new builds and old roman remains. However it was the blending of the old and new together that made me reflect on just how far Lincoln had come over time, and I appreciated that little bit Lincoln more. Within Phil Smith’s Mythogeography: A Guide to Walking Sideways, he stated that drifting through a city could allow you ‘to see for the fist time things you already know’ (Smith, 2010, 119). Although it was a guided drift through Lincoln, I certainly saw things that I’d seen before but never appreciated.

Below are some examples of the blending of old and new. The old roman wall which had bowed over the years with a modern postbox slotted inside its historic bricks. Old steal rods to help preserve the wall and to keep it standing throughout time. Crumbling brick walls in contrast to the fancy modern new build in the historic cathedral grounds.

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work is something that I find very interesting. The wrapping of everyday objects such as trees, and the walls of oil barrels, allows the public to see everyday sites in a new way. When the sun shines on the trees they take a new form, something mystical that distorts the assumptions of the everyday. Thus the public pause and acknowledge their surroundings. The wall of barrels does a similar thing. They create a block in a path or a wall so high and intimidating it makes the audience feel small. This alteration of journeys and physical perceptions also forces the public to acknowledge and appreciate their surroundings.


Smith, P. (2010) Mythogeography: A Guide to Walking Sideways. Devon: Axminster Triarchy Press.