1. EXPANDED INTERIORS - Roman Objects from Pompeii

Posted on 20.12.2019 - 10:44 by Catrin Huber

Expanded Interiors: Bringing contemporary site-specific fine-art practice to Roman houses in Herculaneum and Pompeii: Expanded Interiors is an interdisciplinary, practice-led Fine Art and Archaeology Research Project, initiated by visual artist Catrin Huber and led by Newcastle University (with support from Newcastle Institute of Creative Arts Practice) working in partnership with Parco Archeologico di Pompeii, Parco Archeologico di Ercolano, the Herculaneum Conservation Project and Art Editions North. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The Expanded Interiors team included: Professor in Fine Art Catrin Huber (Principal Investigator), Professor in Archaeology Ian Haynes (Co-Investigator), Rosie Morris (Research Associate in Fine Art), Dr. Thea Ravasi (Research Associate in Archaeology), and Alex Turner (Digital Technology Expert).

Expanded Interiors set out to investigate how contemporary painting practice can provide new perspectives on the spatial configurations of ancient Roman homes and their artefacts, and how in turn Roman wall paintings can inform and enhance contemporary site-specific fine-art installations. We were also interested in exploring how these investigations might stimulate new ways of displaying Roman artefacts (or, rather, their replicas), while allowing for creative exploration of these replicas. This two-year project (May 2017 – December 2019) responded to and investigated through artistic, digital, and archaeological research the specific nature of the buildings and wall paintings from two Roman houses: the House of the Beautiful Courtyard (Casa del Bel Cortile) in Herculaneum and the House of the Cryptoporticus (Casa del Criptoportico) in Pompeii. It also explored their respective sites, contexts and histories. We gained new insights into the sophisticated means of the Roman painters and in how tailored painters responded to the specifics of an architectural setting, while responding to public and private space and social, economic, and cultural contexts. In particular the artistic practice-led approach allowed for a re-interpretation of some of the compositional, perspectival and contextual means (and their interplay) used by the Roman painters.

Through fine-art practice-led and archaeological investigation, 3D digital scanning and printing, Expanded Interiors generated and presented site-specific installations (developed by Huber) within the houses. In doing so it established 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 were accompanied by an extensive programme of workshops, talks and a symposium. Research and activities are disseminated through the Expanded Interiors website, accessible via https://research.ncl.ac.uk/expandedinteriors/ and www.expandedinteriors.co.uk (the latter address is live until February 2028).

Data-sets from Expanded Interiors are archived in six collections, which are interlinked: 1. EXPANDED INTERIORS: Roman Objects from Pompeii; 2. EXPANDED INTERIORS: House of the Cryptoporticus, Pompeii 3. EXPANDED INTERIORS: Expanded Interiors at Pompeii; 4. EXPANDED INTERIORS: Roman Objects from Herculaneum; 5. EXPANDED INTERIORS: House of the Beautiful Courtyard Herculaneum; 6. EXPANDED INTERIORS: Expanded Interiors at Herculaneum

Please take note of the ReadMe files (containing spreadsheet of contents, key to file names, floor plan of houses)


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Huber, Catrin; Haynes, Ian; Morris, Rosie; Ravasi, Thea; Turner, Alex (2019): 1. EXPANDED INTERIORS - Roman Objects from Pompeii. Newcastle University. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25405/data.ncl.c.4678523.v1



Expanded Interiors: Bringing contemporary site-specific fine-art practice to Roman houses at Herculaneum and Pompeii.

Arts and Humanities Research Council


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