Discover the origins of languages and symbolism in this unique, interactive museum experience at The Ark, brought to you by Mother Tongues.
Alphabets, etchings, symbols and engravings, what does language mean to you?
Come and be inspired by how diverse cultures have communicated with each other throughout history by interacting with the exhibition’s tablets, scrolls, jigsaws and other creative installations.
It’s free to join in!
The Mirror of Memory is a reflective surface filled with alphabets from different parts of the world. Play with the letters on this magnetic board and discover where they came from by listening to a special story that is hidden within the story well!
You’ve heard of an electronic tablet but have you ever heard of a wooden tablet? The Museum of Languages has 16 very special wooden tablets inscribed with words, poems and ancient symbolism for you to interact with. Spend some time tracing the designs or imaging what the inscriptions mean before bringing the tablet to the story well and activating a story.
Once upon a time, a Storytelling Well appeared in The Ark…This interactive video installation plays a very important part in the exhibition by giving you a beginning, middle and end to the story of languages and symbolism. The well and the tree are also engraved with different languages which you are invited to explore.
Sometimes ancient languages did not use an alphabet. Instead, they used patterns and repetitive shapes to express meaning. Come and see for yourself by trying out the Inca’s knotted language called The Incal. Create knots and patterns by engaging with the sculpture and see if you can share messages without using words or letters.
Have you ever heard of calligraphy? The Kanji scroll will display symbols that make up the Kanji alphabet, which are the adopted Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. Observe the detail in the brush strokes and then give it a go yourself in our response area.
Sometimes languages are a bit like a puzzle. The colour jigsaw and the Braille jigsaw are tools to explore the language of colour and the patterns of the Braille writing system.
About the Artist
Tomasz Madajczak has worked with art and education for about 15 years, facilitating art workshops for children, teenagers and adults. The combination of art and education plays a crucial role in the development of deep interest and curiosity in young people, to enable them to explore and widen their life perspectives. Tomasz studied Photography at the Fine Arts Academy in Poznań 1998-2003 completing an MAFA in the Intermedia Department. Tomasz emigrated to Ireland in 2003 where he has been a practicing artist since. He has exhibited in Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Pakistan, France and Ireland.