Updated: Sep 11
Tablehurst Farm have been awarded a grant to commission an illustrated map for the farm. The Artist, Elisabeth den Boer, won the commission after being chosen from a list of local artists and map illustrators suggested and recommended by the local community through call outs on social media.
Elisabeth has a strong connection with the farm through her bread making skills in the Fermento Bakery and running a series of artistic landscape workshops at the farm utilising pigments created from natural materials found on the farm. Elisabeth proposed a unique concept for the map which is based on a medieval fairy tale map and the Mappa Mundi. The map has been illustrated in a circular form to replicate the Mappa Mundi design which was known to represent any medieval European map of the world, showing the continent surrounded by water. The term derives from the Medieval Latin words mappa (cloth or chart) and mundus (world). The finished map will show that the farm borders the River Medway, Forest Row and Emerson College with lots of walking and connections to all these areas but is also its own 'planet' existing in the space between.
The fairy tale element of the map includes a water dragon mythical monster in the farm reservoir to remind children and adults not to swim in this water and St Francis of Assisi dressed as a farmer feeding the animals. Elisabeth brings in these elements to show the relationships between the farmers and animals on the farm which is part of the unique experience of the farming at Tablehurst.
The farm has been a well-loved place by many to visit and walk for decades and this map will show more walking routes and the buildings on the farm to help navigate the space for walkers and visitors. The fields on the map also show some of the indigenous herbs and flowers on the farm, celebrating the high biodiversity of the fields and pastures.
We are very grateful that this commission has been supported by High Weald as part of their 'Farming in Protected Landscapes' grant scheme. The project will be completed by the end of March and we hope to be showing the map on the noticeboard in the main carpark during the lambing weekends in April.