Project Information

Banner Images: Alex Turner uses the Artec Spider to scan objects in Herculaneum; the Expanded Interiors team discuss scanning in Herculaneum; Alex Turner in The House of the Cryptoporticus, Pompeii; detail of Expanded Interiors at Herculaneum (Image: Amedeo Benestante)


Project Information

What we are doing and why                                                                                                        

By investigating two distinctive Roman houses, our project sets out an exchange of knowledge between old and new: we are exploring what Contemporary painting and site-specific fine-art practice can learn from the often incredibly sophisticated and complex works of the Roman wall painters. In turn we investigate how contemporary fine-art practice can provide new perspectives on the spatial configurations of ancient Roman homes and the artefacts that adorned them. In so doing we bring Roman artefacts (their replicas) back to the sites, while exploring new forms for displaying archaeological artefacts at Roman archaeological sites.

This two-year project responds to and investigates the specific nature of the buildings, wall paintings and artefacts from two Roman houses: the House of the Beautiful Courtyard in Herculaneum and the House of the Cryptoporticus in Pompeii. It also explores their respective sites, contexts and histories. The House of the Beautiful Courtyard was, for example, used by the archaeologist Amadeo Maiuri (1886 – 1963) as an ‘Open Museum’. The House of the Cryptoporticus featured one of few Roman ‘private’ baths in Pompeii, the use of which changed dramatically throughout the life of the house.

Through fine-art practice-based and archaeological investigation, 3D digital scanning and printing, Expanded Interiors generates and presents site-specific installations within the houses. In doing so it establishes a bridge between the ancient methods and skills of the Roman wall painter and those used within contemporary fine art practice, providing new insights and understandings of these two different creative worlds.

The on-site exhibitions are accompanied by an extensive programme of workshops, talks and a symposium. Expanded Interiors will be documented through this website, blog and publications.