Located in a historical town of Lewes, UK the project focuses on a temporary exhibition space to present one of the oldest religions in the world - Witchcraft. The main intention of the ‘impermanent’ museum was to find ways to re-use medieval building Thebes Annexe and articulate the depths of knowledge of Witchcraft through a sequence of rich multi-sensorial experiences.
The program derived from the anthropological theory by F. Trompenaars and C. H. Turner, suggesting that humans tend to get acquainted with broad concepts such as religion through three levels of information (from general and explicit to specific and intricate). Following this theory, three levels of knowledge in Witchcraft were presented starting from the 'outlines' leading to 'mentality' and culminating at the 'core'. Accordingly, the three exhibition zones feature diverse display mechanisms and strong individual themes, which are characterized by spatial arrangement, intensities of light, levels of enclosure and respective materials.
The First Zone, being a double height open space, utilizes original brick and flint walls as a powerful backdrop for the contextual information about Lewes and local folklore. A much darker and narrower Second Zone presents ‘mentality’ and ‘behaviour’ through Witchcraft rituals and key ethics and acts as a link to surrounding nature. It is a ‘floating’ movable space cladded in torched wood sticks to echo the role of fire in the religion. Finally, a dark and narrow Third Zone, or the ‘core’ nests inside the second zone and is slightly lifted above the ground as if forming a ‘sacred’ space displaying personal artifacts, poetry and stories. Defined by thin strips of oxidized copper it creates the most intimate and emotive experience.
In this way, the three exhibition zones act as a catalyst for discovering layers of knowledge of Witchcraft from general and abstract to specific and meaningful.