If you have walked past Canute’s Palace recently (the 11th Century Merchant’s House between the park and Porters Lane), you may have seen what looks like a lot of light bulbs with liquid in them suspended from wires strung across scaffolding, which has been erected inside the ruined building.
This is all part of the ArtVaults Live event, a programme of free performative art, activities and events planned for the whole of September in Canute’s Palace, and called ‘Rara Avis’. The organisers are Aspace Arts, and if you would like to know more about the organisation and about the event, click here to go to their website.
Throughout each weekend of September 2018, local artists will make inventive use of this unique location, expressing the heritage of the site through live art. The first event, together with the launch of Amanda Moore’s installation, is on 1st September with a live performance of the tale of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria.
Amanda Moore’s structure includes tensile strings, strung across to support vessels filled with water from the nearby Solent. The undulating forms of the vesels link back to the narratives surrounding King Canute[s demonstration that no man has control over the tide, claimed to have been performed by the Solent. Once the ArtVaults:Live events are complete and the installation is taken down, the water will be returned back to the Solent.
2nd September is ‘Knit the Walls’, an ongoing knitting project by Sarah Filmer, aspiring to recreate the medieval city out of wool, with the help of many Southampton residents.
The final event, on 30th September, is an event called ‘Spontaneity Knotting’, as people celebrate Southampton’s maritime heritage by trying to learn maritime knots and join objects together, while sharing information about the collective heritage of knots.
Places can be booked via ‘Eventbrite’ under the title of ‘ArtVaults Robin’ or by calling 02380 338778