Interpretation panel to Discover Mounts Bay

Interpretation Panels to Discover Mounts Bay

Posted on: 10th April 2023 No Comments

Following on from the series of podcasts we created as part of Gwelan with artist Emma Smith and residents of West Penwith, Storylines were delighted to be asked to produce content for a series of interpretation panels to help people discover Mounts Bay. We hope that visitors to the coast path between Marazion and Penzance will be intrigued by the artworks and spend time delving deeper into this fascinating landscape and its stories through the 4 colourful panels and 3 markers that are now dotted along the coast path.

Collaboration and Design

Working as part of a team, with the Experience Project at Cornwall Council, Access Cornwall and design studio TWO Design was a really productive collaboration. TWO Design’s graphics really help bring the content to life, featuring symbols which they created in collaboration with Emma Smith.


Emma Smith’s installation Gwelan, was inspired by Cornwall’s largest submerged forest that sits in the bay. This was an important thread that continued throughout the interpretation panels. We wanted to provide information about both the forest and Emma’s artworks to help contextualise them and encourage people to explore them in different ways.

gwelan interpretation

Using Stories

The podcasts we created shared different perspectives and stories of Mounts Bay. This included exploring its unique ecology, history and culture. All themes which continued in the text we produced. We knew from the start that we wanted to include some excerpts from the stories we had gathered and were spoilt for choice for which to feature. Each of the stories we selected linked with the panels’ overarching theme and was transcribed as inspired by ethnopoetics.  Here the lines are broken where a breath is drawn with no punctuation included. Each story is also available in audio form (alongside the full podcast series) and can be accessed with a QR code.

Exploring the senses

We all interact with places differently. We wanted to reflect this by providing a range of ways for people to engage with the artworks and place. As well as the links to audio versions of the stories, we provided prompts that support people to explore
through their senses. Working with Access Cornwall was really helpful for considering how we might do this. Prompts encourage people to listen, smell, touch, look, imagine and consider.

Adding to the sensory experience are indented symbols which can be touched or used for making rubbings. Again these relate to the artworks and place. It was fun to explore these with a toddler in tow, making maps in different colours as we travelled along the path.

doing rubbings on the panels to discover Mounts Bay

Encouraging connection

Through our work we know the value of connection, to both people and place. We wanted to nurture this approach through these panels. It’s funny how you can walk past the same place daily but not necessarily take time to pause and consider. We hope that the prompts inspire people to share with each other as well as connect with the immediate landscape.

Interpretation panel to Discover Mounts BayDiscover Mounts Bay

If you find yourself exploring this part of the coast, then we hope you find something that sparks your imagination, prompts a story or teaches you something while you discover Mounts Bay.

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