London SE1 website team

Bedlam’s Backyard explored by Morley College tutors

Mud has been flying in Morley College’s secret garden as two of its tutors embark on a new outdoor installation piece and uncover some local history along the way.

Bedlam’s Backyard explored by Morley College tutors
Bedlam’s Backyard explored by Morley College tutors

The project, which has a working title of Bedlam’s Backyard, is the brainchild of sculpture tutor Giles Corby and ceramics tutor Duncan Hooson. The artists aim to explore the themes of excavation, immersion and the sense of being underground.

Undeterred by the winter weather Giles and Duncan have already begun phase one of the project, which involves digging a trench in the frozen ground.

As they dig the pair are recording any hidden treasures that they unearth.

Discoveries so far include teapots and mugs buried since the area was bombed during the Second World War as well as dozens of oyster shells.

The Morley College garden is thought to have been part of the grounds of the old Bethlem ('Bedlam') Hospital which previously occupied the Imperial War Museum building.

Once the excavation is complete Giles and Duncan will begin building a clay and metal structure around the trench, aimed at strengthening the feeling of going underground for those who interact with it.

The finished piece will form part of Matter, an exhibition of ceramics and sculpture by Morley tutors, which opens at Morley Gallery on 13 January.

The SE1 website is supported by people like you

Please join our membership scheme or sponsor an hour of local reporting so we can survive

You can also make a small payment to say 'thank you' for this article with Tibit:

This article on a map


Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from: