Our choice of location was reached fairly easily. The Crypt Gallery at St Pancras was recommended to us by Sarah Sparkes and it was pretty much love at first sight. I had attended a gallery there previously, and the atmosphere, layout and exposed brickwork were more than enough reasons to overlook the many many goths hanging out there.
It’s narrow corridors and enclosed rooms encapsulate the theme of restriction within the venue without being too overwhelming or complicating health and safety issues (aside from the steep stares, uneven cobbles and lit candles, but we’ll deal with those when we get to it). Being such an unusual choice and a gallery renowned for it’s up-and-coming artist shows, we felt that the Crypt would have a large enough existing fan base and would hopefully be a low-stress venue for our first show.
Other buildings we looked at included the do-it-yourself-arts centre at the Old Deptford Police Station. Deptford is an up-and-coming area for the arts, and this space has become increasingly popular with young artists looking for an unusual venue for their show. It’s not pretty, but the basic, tiled cells and the old building have a grimy urban charm about them and fit in very nicely with the theme of restriction.
However, this venue was booked up until next June and proved to be a little pricy at a private view drinks-budget lowering £900.
We also looked at the famous London prison The Clink. Why, fake-nosed hobgoblin Mortiis of ‘Smell the Witch’ fame has played a gig there, so why shouldn’t we have a show there? Well, although the venue is certainly eerie, centrally located and restricted enough for us, it proved just a little too touristy and unavailable to hire for a week.