Roman Amphitheatre

Guildhall Art Gallery, 1988

Beneath the courtyard of the London Guildhall in the heart of the City, the long lost evidence of a Roman amphitheatre comes to life, thanks to a clever installation by Nigel Coates. Digital displays expand the definition of the original arena, despite the limited height of the remains. The archaeological material is treated with restraint and respect, but the visitor experience is accentuated with a life-sized digital backdrop that delineates the original ellipse. The occasional roar from an imaginary crowd affirms the idea of gladiatorial combat.