FAR FROM A WHITE-WALLED GALLERY, THE VAULTS IS A FANTASTIC MAZE OF TUNNELS THATS ALSO GALLERY SPACE!

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Hi Kieron, so The Vaults isn’t your traditional gallery space! Tell us more about where the vaults came from and its evolution from idea to award winning gallery space?

The Vaults is really an evolution of The Old Vic Tunnels. We carried on from where they left off. The next bit was a lot of hours, and finding out feet to try and make it a space that works

What are the key mission statements of the vaults, what is it your striving to push against and give to both artist and viewer?

We’re constantly doing battle with escalating costs. The more successful we become, the harder it is to maintain the space for the artists to work in. We strive therefore to balance our programming between corporate hires and artistic endeavours. Hopefully we can continue to present more art based work

 

The space itself isn’t your usual white walled gallery, you even provide a sitemap of your layout online. Why was opening such an unusual space so vital to you and how do feel it enables you to push against the conventional boundaries of the art gallery?

When I meet new artists and show people around, I’m always encouraging them not to think about how the space is currently being used, but how it could be used. The walls shouldn’t be a place to hang work, work should be on the floor, on the ceiling. The walls shouldn’t be covered, we try as much as possible to maintain exposing the original features of the space. I wouldn’t say I set out to open an unusual space, more a space that you can be a part of, explore, enjoy, let loose in.

With such a unique space the exhibitions you show must be pretty unique too, talk to us about the types of exhibitions curated  thus far and if you had to pick which was your favourite of 2016?
 

I would say Jess Kohl’s work, Friends of the Dead was the stand out for me. Jess’ work was very suitable for the programming happening around it, but it had it’s own stand out moment in amongst the chaos. Mentions also for #QC - Quilla Constance_aka_Jennifer Allen - she really rocked the boat and raised some really complicated debates amongst the programming teams here.

 

For those artists thinking this space is right for them, how would they go about getting involved and what is the process like from beginning to opening night?
 

It’s not an easy ride. The nature of the building means that you need to be flexible, adaptable and accommodating for what else is going on. If you manage to stick it out, the challenge of the space makes the opening night all the sweeter. In terms of applying, it’s simply an email expressing interest with examples of your work.

 

In January 2017 you opened a new space ‘Vaulty Towers’, tell us more about VT, how it differs to the The Vaults and your other plans for 2017?
 

The idea of VT is to have a place to further the life of the productions, set pieces and props we create. Works we make or show at The Vaults will be revolving through the new venue, giving them a second life, and giving them a chance to be used again outside of the bar. In addition, we have a new basement space for 40 people that’s ideal for cabaret/burlesque/magic/open mic type shows. We’re always on the hunt for new spaces to accommodate the sheer volume of enquiries we get


 

CHECK OUT THE VAULTS HERE www.thevaults.london 

INTERVIEW by HANNAH SMITH

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