Many Hands Make Lightwork

Many hands make lightwork

As part of a larger work for Rockingham Castle exploring and revealing layers of myth and history, artist Sarah Gillett presents Many hands make lightwork, an immersive digital artwork set within the nighttime grounds and historic figures of the site. Conceived by Sarah and built by artist Stuart Moore, this online world explores the very human ways we traverse landscapes in darkness. Here, fragments of correspondence, geology, astronomy and folklore exist as artefacts to be excavated and examined. 

Audiences are invited to play from home before more is revealed as part of the physical The Howse Shal Be Preserved exhibition at Rockingham Castle in 2021.

How to play Many hands make lightwork

This is a multiplayer Minecraft world for Windows and macOS that is hosted on the Fermynwoods Contemporary Art server from 1 May 2021 – 28 January 2022. It won’t work on a video game console like Playstation or Nintendo.

We want to give as many players as possible an opportunity to discover and add to the world that Sarah Gillett and Stuart Moore built. The world is set to Creative mode so you can go in, explore and build whatever you like. We want to see where your imagination takes you – from structures that reach the clouds to underground chambers only reached by a secret passageway. We monitor the world and will ‘rewind’ any activity we deem offensive.


This short fly-through of Many hands make lightwork introduces the three levels you can explore in this Minecraft world. The ground level represents a fantastical nighttime version of the present, with gardens, a meteorite stone circle and a huge earthwork. The cloud level above represents the future – look out for strange glass structures in the sky. Wells and fireplaces will drop you down into the past, where you will find caverns, archeological remains of earlier Castle buildings and an underground maze. The soundtrack for the world is made up of theremin, birdsong, whispering voices and unique microtonal notes from natural sources.

You will need a Microsoft account to buy and play Minecraft Java Edition. You can set this up by following the instructions here. During this process you may get a screen to set up an Xbox profile. If so, choose any profile and click next. On the last screen you will see an option to buy Minecraft. It is £17.95.

If you already have a Microsoft account but don’t have Minecraft then you can download the game here. You will find options to download the Java edition for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Next, follow the steps below.

Open Minecraft on your computer. The first time you visit Many hands make lightwork you’ll need to add the server details:

  • Click Play
  • Choose Multiplayer mode
  • Go to Add Server
  • In the box marked Server Name, enter any name you like (if you’re stuck we suggest the name Rockingham)
  • In the box marked Server Address, cut and paste this number: 51.195.141.218:25565 (with dots and colon)
  • Click Done and you will go back to the Multiplayer screen
  • Now choose the entry you have just created and Join Server (click on the server you just added)
  • You will get a Resource Pack Prompt – remember to click yes otherwise you won’t get to see the world properly

Basic controls:

W = UP
A = LEFT
S = DOWN
D = RIGHT
Double tap space bar to fly
Tap Shift to gently land
Left click to break
Right click to build

To explore Many hands make lightwork without downloading the full Minecraft world click the image below and use the arrow keys to look around