Greenwich Foot Tunnel
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Greenwich London SE10 9HT
Greenwich Foot Tunnel

In response to one of the biggest concerns of our times, the conservation of our oceans, ‘The Space Below’ is a unique take on the pressing issue of underwater sound pollution, a problem that is little known but effects all marine life.

Every creature in the ocean can hear: The smallest larva listens to the reef to find where to settle, while the Blue Whale draws an acoustic map to navigate its way. Hearing is fundamental to communication, breeding, feeding and ultimately survival. But as humankind increasingly continues to explore and exploit the underwater world, so our sounds pollute and raise levels of noise to extreme levels.

Opening in the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, London in March 2020 and transporting audiences into a space where ears rule over eyes ‘The Space Below’ is a multi-speaker sound installation that explores the global issue of underwater acoustic pollution as an underground walk-through experience beneath the waters of the River Thames. Created from underwater sound recordings that have been made by scientists all around the world, the installation features both natural sounds made by a wide range of sea creatures as well as human-made sounds of boats, sonar, seismic surveys and acoustic deterrent devices.

This unique collaboration between two award-winning artists brings together Emma’s 18 years’ experience of working underwater with Lee’s long exploration of working with sound and its relationship to architectural space. Both have a keen interest in science and ecology and have been working with scientists and experts in the field to learn about the issues and impacts of underwater sound pollution in order to develop the artwork. They are passionate about raising awareness of this urgent issue, which has spread to affect all corners of the world.

Artists Biographies:

Emma Critchley

Emma Critchley is an artist who uses a combination of photography, film, sound and installation to continually explore the human relationship with the underwater environment as a political, philosophical and environmental space. Her work has been shown extensively nationally and internationally in galleries and institutions including The Australian Centre of Photography, the ICA Singapore, The National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Tate St Ives. In 2019 she completed a short film; ‘Common Heritage’ about the imminent threat of deep-sea mining for rare earth minerals, funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. For this she worked with experts in deep sea ecology and law at the National Oceanography Centre and Universities of Plymouth & Southampton. In 2019, Emma was the winner of the EARTH WATER SKY residency programme with Science Gallery Venice, which she has been working on throughout 2019-2020 and will culminate in an exhibition during the Venice Architecture Biennale in the Autumn of 2020.

Lee Berwick 

Currently Lee is interested in space, energy and the physicality of sound. His work endlessly pushes boundaries and has been shown in London’s Hayward Gallery, The ICA, Tate modern and many other venues around the world. He has had a BBC program made about his work and has spoken at the RA in London. Recent UK installations include the B-Side Multi media arts festival, Sonic Waterloo festival and Viewpoints festivals, he has recently been lead artist in an ACE funded project which delivered a string of installations, workshops, and performances featuring international performers at a large cave network in the Forest of Dean (2018). Lee is part of the ‘Inner Ear’ performance/sound art collective who tour their site-specific performances to a range of venues and are the organizing body running and owning ‘The Tank’ an old oil storage vessel in northern Sweden which has a 24second reverb and is used as an arts venue.

Project Page:

Project Facebook Page:

Emma Critchley:

Lee Berwick:


All events are free, for booking details:

Tunnel Walk Through and Q&A with the artists – convening at National Maritime Museum ‘Propeller Space’: Saturday 7th March, 11am and 2pm | Saturday 14th March, 11am and 2pm

Free but booking required: book here

Artist’s Talk:  National Maritime Museum Lecture Theatre, Friday 13th March 6-7.30pm.

Free but booking required: book here

‘The Space Below’ is part of the National Maritime Museum’s 6-month season of programming Our Ocean, Our Planet

Funded by: Arts Council England, British Antarctic Survey and the Royal Borough of Greenwich Community Art Fund

Sponsored by: Minirig

Research partners: The British Antarctic Survey; The Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust; Culture & Climate Change Project; Californian Ocean Alliance; The University of Plymouth; and specialists from Cornell and Washington Universities, US.