Public invited to join artist's late-night vigil in RA Schools
Like many historic buildings in London, the Royal Academy has its fair share of ghost stories - and artist Blue Firth collects them.
The RA Schools student's work deals with creating a 'supernatural archive' of Burlington House. This year's Premiums exhibition included Firth's ghost map of paranormal hotspots around the RA - such as the Library and the Nun's Walk, a narrow pathway behind the building.
The event will take part under research conditions, and in complete darkness Firth's research in the Royal Academy archives unearthed existing tales of spooky goings-on but she also uncovered a new one. One of the RA's Red Collar guards came forward with a story of inexplicable door-slamming late one night in the historic corridors of the RA Schools, as he passed the Keeper's Room. It's as a result of this discovery that Firth's work has now entered a new stage - a late night vigil in the RA Schools, open to members of the public.
For the event, Firth has teamed up with parapsychology expert Dr David Luke and Mark Pilkington, a writer whose previous forays into the paranormal include writing the ‘weird science’ column Far Out for the Guardian.
The event may attract fans of manipulated chills such as current West End show Ghost Stories, but there will be no staged or theatrical elements. "They’ll be taking an active role in a genuine vigil - it’s taking place under research conditions,” says Firth. The team has undertaken special training by the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) for the occasion.
And while it may sound like an episode of Most Haunted, it's taking place in an artistic rather than entertainment context. Mark Pilkington describes the event as "Interdisciplinary - it's about the relationship between science, social history and art”.
Firth says one of the things that interests her is the 'unwritten history' of a place: "history that can be sensed on an unconscious, intuitive level. In some way the idea of the Keeper's Room being haunted is now going to be part of the fabric of the building".
If all this has you intrigued, places are still available - book online here.