One Marylebone, which was recently awarded second place - ahead of the London Eye - in Event's Top 20 Venues list for 2009, has opened its ornate crypt for a six-month installation by Joseph La Placa's All Visual Arts.
It is hoped that the area will be opened as a permanent gallery space.
The basement, which currently has no official title has so far been used for AVA's Age of The Marvelous Exhibition held last October.
It currently does not hold an alcohol and entertainment license so has been focused on temporary events notices (TENs) including The BFI's London Film Festival and a celebrity wedding. Both of these events used the space as a club type area in addition to the rest of One Marylebone.
One Marylebone marketing manager Andrew Morrow told Event: "The AVA is using the basement until July 2010, when the space will be empty again to functions. However, in the meantime the space is able to be used in conjunction with the art, so works well for drinks receptions. The refurbishment of the space will be complete by mid 2011."
"The standard crypt lighting was very harsh and bright and we wanted to give our client instant access to the atmospheric lighting states we were to program for the exhibition, without them having to resort to the ‘cleaner's lights' to find their way to the control desk downstairs," added Fine Art Lighting's technical manager Rupert Barth von Wehrenalp.
Point Source Productions installed a 60-channel dimming system controlled by an ETC Xpress lighting desk. The ETC Xpress is also used to program an ETC Reflection control panel which has been wall-mounted on the stairs at the entrance to the Crypt.
"Now up to 60 pre-programmed lighting states can be recalled by the Reflection at the touch of a button to reveal the beautiful architecture of the Crypt below, and the exhibits, before one descends the staircase into the gallery," said Wehrenalp.
The installation went ahead in preparation for the Age of the Marvellous exhibition, a semi permanent exhibition conceived by All Visual Arts to coincide with the Frieze Art Fair.
All Visual Arts has no permanent gallery space but sources temporary spaces for exhibitions which showcase new artists and bring them to the attention of private collectors.
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