Message in a Bottle

Image : Elizabeth Bell, Woman with mask, 2021, digital image, projected inside domestic medicine cabinet as part of Message in a Bottle exhibition (The Old Operating Theatre, 2021) Photo: Charlie Murphy

Message in a Bottle – Visions from Covid-19 Lockdowns

Friday 21st May – 26th June (open Friday & Saturday, 10.20am – 5pm -last entry 4.15pm)


The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret in London celebrates its’ reopening with a dynamic new exhibition of artworks and writing.

Responding to an innovative series of online workshops led by visual artist Charlie Murphy and writer Laurie Bolger, a diverse community of online participants have created artworks, creative writings, photography, video, and sculpture. They have creatively recorded the spaces, landscapes, objects, and rituals that have shaped their experiences of COVID-19 over the last year.

Inspired by artefacts and anecdotes from the museum’s collection, Message in a Bottle digitally and physically captures personal experiences of lockdown within the historic interiors, vessels, and artefacts of the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret.

The resulting panopoly of digital projections and physical interventions expose poignant and startling contrasts and resonances between past and present public health crises.

Curated and produced by Charlie Murphy, this exhibition has been developed in collaboration with technologist Robin Bussell, Laurie Bolger, Monica Walker and over 30 online participants from across the UK and Europe.

This project has been financially supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funds the Cultural Development Fund which is administered by Arts Council England, with in-kind support from: Kingston School of Art & the artists agency

Instagram  : @oldoperatingtheatre @lauriebolger @thephotonicexcitors #MiBOldOp