What are they building down there? | 19th – 27th July 2013

John Abell | Jonathan Anderson | Eva Bartussek | Kieron Da-Silva Beckerton | Philip Cheater | Andrew Cooper | Gordon Dalton | Barnaby Dicker | Kim Fielding | Peter Finnemore | Becky & Jason | Kapspike & Goebbels | Denise Kwan | Dave Marchant | Helene Roberts

Elysium Gallery, Swansea showcases the work of 16 Wales based visual artists in its new home in the sprawling basement of the former Barons Nightclub. Elysium Gallery will include 12 artists’ studios and an atmospheric underground exhibition space. This will be the only time all of the studio spaces will be used as a part of an exhibition before the new tenants move in.

What’s he building in there? What the hell is he building in there?
He’s hiding something from the rest of us…

What’s he building in there?
With that hook light on the stairs.
Now what’s that sound from under the door?
He’s pounding nails into a hardwood floor…

and I swear to god I heard someone
Moaning low…
He has a router and a table saw… and you
Won’t believe what the neighbours saw
What’s he building in there? What the hell is he building in there?

He has no friends but he gets a lot of mail
I’ll bet he spent a little time in jail…
What’s he building in there?
We have a right to know… Copyright: Tom Waits, What’s he Building? 1999

WHAT ARE THEY BUILDING DOWN THERE? will be the grand unveiling of Elysium gallery’s new exhibition and studio complex. After months of hard work, banging and drilling, there has been much speculation about what the space will look like. The new gallery is located in the basement of the notorious Barons nightclub on College Street which closed down over 5 years ago and has been unoccupied ever since. The upper floors of the night club have now been converted into flats and Elysium gallery has renovated the last part of the nightclub that remained.

Visitors will descend down the stairs to reach the gallery and studios; the space has no natural light and is completely cut off from the outside world creating an atmosphere quite different to the many other galleries in Wales at the moment. Evidence of the old barons night club has been left behind , beneath the polished wooden floor of the gallery are the old tiles of the dance floor, behind the walls of the studios is the wallpaper and cladding that once adorned the walls and beneath the while walls is graffiti from the nightclubs old clientele.

The show features work that responds to the space, by both established and emerging artists and prominent figures from the arts around South Wales. The show will attempt to unlock its secrets and act as an unveiling of the space. This will be a unique chance to investigate the maze of studios, gallery spaces and store rooms.

What have they been building down there? We will all soon know!


Private View: Friday 19th July, 8 – 10pm
Free exhibition continues until Saturday 27th July
Gallery opening times: Wednesday-Saturday 12-5pm
Elysium Gallery, 16 College Street, Swansea, SA1 5BH