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Totem Circle

At the centre of Heartlands, you’ll come across our Totem Circle event space - an amphitheatre surrounded by twelve wooden totem poles.

Artist Nicky Neate worked with local school, Pool Academy to create the Matter of Time Totems, which were crafted from 150-year old pitch pine wooden beams originally used at Holman’s of Camborne in the 19th Century. 

Using discarded metal objects salvaged from the disused mine at Robinson’s Shaft, the students worked closely with the artist to create a graphical alphabet with each object relating to a letter. Once the alphabet was complete, the students co-wrote a poem, which was translated into these special hieroglyphics and turned into copper, steel and zinc stencils to decorate the totems. 

For the sleuths among you, why not uncover the poem by deciphering the symbols from a special codebook available from the Visitor Centre? And if you’re feeling expressive, you can even graffiti your own message on the two blank sides of the totems. As culture goes, this is an ace free public space.  

The Totem Circle will be used as a performance space throughout the year for theatre and dance groups, musicians, choirs and much more.  Pick up our Daily Events sheet from the Visitor Centre reception on arrival or check the events page of the website to see what Totem Encounters are happening on the day of your visit.

Heartlands is always on the look out for new talent to showcase in the Totem Circle.  If you’re interested in performing for free in this bold and experimental setting, please contact us.

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