DISPLAYING MODERN art in medieval vaults under the City of Southampton is the brainchild of Daniel Crow, the managing
director of an arts organisation called "a space", which was set up three years ago to work with emerging artistic talent in Southampton. Seven modern artists will be exhibited in five different medieval vaults along the waterfront in Southampton old town.
"I wanted to put art into public places in Southampton, in places like parks and libraries. Southampton needs to be stimulated, and when somebody said, `Have you seen the medieval vaults under the City?', well, I was blown away," says Crow. He aims to create a symbiotic relationship between contemporary art and the medieval architecture.
"There are about 54 vaults in Southampton, roughly 40,000 sq ft of vaults under the city. Some of these have stood for over 800 years and, due to their age, there are no fixtures. We can't just go in there and hang paintings from a wall or dangle sculptures from a ceiling. We have therefore had to choose contemporary art - projections, installations or sculptures - that are freestanding."
Vault 1 is Castle Vault, the only remaining part of the old castle; it will house a big, kidney-shaped area full of plants, in an installation called The Garden, a collaboration between the internationally known artist Predrag Pajdic, and local artists. Rachel Wilberforce has projected moving images of other natural environments over the garden, with a soundtrack recorded in the Amazon rainforest of heavy rainstorms and cracks of lightning "in an explor-ation of the interplay between the external nature of reality and internal states of mind". …