I am a medievalist in the process of completing a PhD (involving medieval medicine). I travel as much as possible at home (UK) and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences!
Published July 7th 2014
Explore twenty-first century art in an old crypt
The Crypt Gallery is located in St Pancras Parish Church on Euston Road. This unusual gallery space hosts a variety of unique exhibitions throughout the year, such as Graveland (2013), which examined death in a playful and engaging manner, and the most recent exhibition Catching the Eye (July 2014), which was a diverse collection of sculpture, prints, and mixed media. The exhibitions tend to be of short duration, the two mentioned above ran for four days, so it's best to keep up to date on upcoming shows via the schedule on the website.
Entrance to the Crypt Gallery. Photo by Erin Connelly
The crypt was originally used for burials between 1822 and 1854. It was also used as an air raid shelter during World War I and II. The crypt has been used as a gallery for twelve years, but a sense of stillness and sombreness has been preserved. In fact, the remains of 557 people are still interred in the caverns of the gallery. I was the only person in the gallery on my recent visit. Despite the bright lights and beautiful artwork, it did feel slightly creepy to be the solitary visitor, especially in the silent recesses of the back tunnels where even the clamour of Euston Road is muted.
Regardless of the funeral atmosphere, there are some truly breathtaking works of art on display in the gallery. I visited in the closing days of the Catching the Eye exhibition, which may be one of the most diverse shows yet. The exhibition presented the works of fourteen current artists, which were designed to contrast with the cavernous gallery space and draw the viewer in for a closer look.
The gallery typically shows the works of twenty-first century artists. In honour of its history and location within a church, works that encourage contemplation, questioning, or close examination are often selected.