Visitors explored the extraordinary 14th century epic poem Piers Plowman through items and artefacts that brought the medieval world to life, alongside a curated display from the National Poetry Library’s collection – from Patience Agbabi to Seamus Heaney – that demonstrated the enduring influence of the medieval mind on poetry.
The centrepiece of the exhibition was a rare, exquisite manuscript of Piers Plowman (SLV.17) dating to c.1400, which was on loan courtesy of Senate House Library, University of London. Alongside this medieval treasure were two new commissions by contemporary artists in response to the poem. Larry Achiampong’s powerful video installation ‘Sunday Best (Reprise)’ evoked the intimacy and intensity of devotional prayer, whilst Nicola Jedrzejczak’s stunning panorama of Langland’s ‘Fair Feeld Ful of Folk’ captured the feel of a bustling medieval landscape through intricate paper sculpture.
11 May – 9 July 2017
Closed to the public on Mondays
The National Poetry Library
Royal Festival Hall, Level 5, Blue Side
London SE1 8XX