Walking Beside You

Walking Beside You Herbert

Walking Beside You: Collaboration And Participation In Journeys With “The Waste Land”

15 November 2018 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Come and meet Professor Mike Tooby, instigator of Journeys with “The Waste Land” and members of The Coventry Waste Land Research Group.  For the past two years, this group has selected works for exhibition, written explanatory texts, designed the gallery lay-out and a programme of events.  This is your opportunity to learn more about the making of this unique exhibition.

Free | Booking Required


chat-over-tea-Mike cropped
Professor Mike Tooby

Journeys with “The Waste Land” is an exhibition led by independent curator, Prof Mike Tooby, and organised by the Mead Gallery in collaboration with Turner Contemporary in Margate and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry. The exhibition explores the contemporary significance of T.S. Eliot’s seminal poem and Mike Tooby says: “the context of Coventry and Warwickshire offers many resonances with “The Waste Land”: the everyday situations of people coming to terms with the aftermath of war, but evoked within a great tradition of poetry and myth, offers glimpses of redemption in many voices from many different cultural and faith backgrounds.”

Mike Tooby, researching the concept of creating major exhibitions with members of a community, as opposed to an omnipotent curator, said forms of community curating already existed for social history exhibitions. “It is kind of standard practice to go the community and say, ‘have we got it right?’ So why not for an art exhibition?”

Mark Brown Arts Guardian correspondent
Tue 30 Jan 2018 

Journeys with “The Waste Land” has been an exercise in community curation, both with the Research Group in Turner Contemporary in Margate, that eventually involved in excess of sixty people, and in Coventry with a much smaller group of around thirteen volunteers.  The resulting exhibitions have been an exciting mix of ideas and themes that reflect the cacophony of voices within the Eliot poem.  Has the project been successful?  This is down to those who have seen either, or both, exhibitions and we invite you to hear Mike’s views and to challenge the Research Groups’ ideas and philosophy behind the project as the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum Journeys with “The Waste Land” draws to a close in its final week.