The Space Below

Coronavirus closure

Visitor notice: All Royal Museums Greenwich sites are currently closed to visitors, but you can still join us for online events and search our digital collectionsFind out more

Essential information

Opening times: 
7-15 March 2020 | 11am - 7pm
In Greenwich
Season type: 
Our Ocean, Our Planet

Experience the sounds of the sea - both natural and human-made - in a brand new art installation in Greenwich Foot Tunnel.

The Space Below - ocean sounds and science in Greenwich Foot Tunnel

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 in March 2020, ‘The Space Below’ by artists Emma Critchley and Lee Berwick is a 50 speaker sound installation that explores the global issue of underwater noise pollution.

Artists Emma Critchley and Lee Berwick in Greenwich Foot Tunnel (© Jennifer Moyes)
Artists Emma Critchley and Lee Berwick in Greenwich Foot Tunnel (© Jennifer Moyes)

Walk through the tunnel beneath the waters of the River Thames and be transported to a world where ears rule over eyes.

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.

Meet the artists at the National Maritime Museum

Emma Critchley and Lee Berwick, the artists behind 'The Space Below', will be running special walkthroughs of the installation in collaboration with the National Maritime Museum

These free events will take place throughout March. The events are free, but please click the links below to reserve your place.

Tunnel Walk Through and Q&A with the artists – meet at the south entrance to Greenwich Foot Tunnel (click here to see the location on Google Maps)

Reserve your free place

  • Saturday 7 March, 11am 
  • Saturday 7 March, 2pm 
  • Saturday 14 March, 11am 
  • Saturday 14 March, 2pm


About the artists

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.

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. Recent UK installations include works at the B-Side Multi media arts festival, Sonic Waterloo festival and Viewpoints festival.

'The Space Below' is supported by Arts Council England, British Antarctic Survey and the Greenwich Community Arts Fund. The installation is sponsored by Minirig.

Main image © Emma Critchley