Orleans House Gallery - Grottofying

Richmond, London, UK

Exhibition design with sculpture commission for art gallery and historic building

Taking inspiration from Alexander Pope’s grotto, this exhibition distils the experience of a grotto into six essential elements: darkness, water, myths, transformation, nature and artifice. Designed as ‘empirical’ grottos from which experimentation can be launched, the objects in the gallery seek to express Pope’s understanding of the Grotto as ‘natural caves with sacred springs haunted by nymphs’.

For Pope, the grotto was a constant source of inspiration and his conception of how and what a grotto was and should be evolved over time. While the grotto was undoubtedly a place of escape, it was also designed as an immersive crucible for creative thought and work. Pope sought to create the ideal conditions to inspire both poetry and radical political thought and as such the grotto reflects contemporary understandings of what it means to inspire.


RIBA Stages 0-7.
Scoping and research, concept design, detailed co-ordination with head curator, design of narrative strategy, design of graphics, layout and physical interventions, commissioning of site-specific poetry and soundscapes, detailed design and co-ordination with fabricators and co-ordination of installation.