Last week Contrary Life headed down to Lazarides’ Hell’s Half Acre exhibition in the suitably dark and eerie Old Vic Tunnels. Contributions came from artists including Doug Foster, Conor Harrington, Paul Insect, Polly Morgan and Antony Micallef. There was an interesting mix of paintings, sculptures, and videos. Lazarides, founded in 2003 by Steve Lazarides supports and develops the work of a group of artists who collectively, defy categorization.
For me the best works used the dark maze of tunnels and the inspiration of Dante’s Inferno well. The more memorable included Polly Morgan’s Blue Fever, a globe of birds wings, Doug Foster’s mesmeric video installation, The Heretics’ Gate and Paul Insect’s Object Desire.
It made a nice change from walking round a bright white gallery keeping at arms length from the art. Here you walked around and inbetween the installations, your shadow crossing those of the various artworks. Climbing stairs, and peering into rooms added to the experience. However, some of the installations I felt didn’t make as much use of the subterranean space as they could have.