Following last year’s highly successful tour of galleries in Hackney, this year we visited Deptford an area of south east London very close to Camberwell College of Arts which is full of intriguing art spaces. South London Art Map lead the tour starting at Bearspace Gallery.
Number 57 is housed in an old chemist and they have kept the beautiful old sign:
Next was Lewisham Art House and an amazing exhibition by children from the local Myatt Garden Primary School. An obviously incredible teacher, Karen Vost, had coordinated a week long creative project inspired by a single work of art, ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’ by Thomas Gainsborough. Some of the work was simply stunning and it was hard not to think of the Picasso quote, ‘It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.’ (Quoted in: Peter Erskine, ?Rick Mattingly (1998) Drum Perspective, p. 73):
Sadly the final gallery MMX was closed so we concluded with a group photo of those who had made it to the end of the tour:
Artist Chila Burman gives a tour through her exhibition, Ghosts. Unfortunately the iPhone it was recorded on stopped recording because it was full! However the first 25 minutes was captured and gives a flavour of the generosity of Chila in giving over 2 hours of her time to reveal much about her work.
UAL Joint Chairs of Black Art and Design Paul Goodwin and Sonia Boyce Present: GHOSTS
Carroll Fletcher Gallery delivers another great exhibition, this time Raphael Lozano-Hemmer, the Mexican-Canadian artist focusing on sound work, in the exhibition ‘Obra’. Course leader Jonathan Kearney was able to discuss the exhibition with Lozano-Hemmer on one of the artist’s brief visits to London and then lead a guided tour round the exhibition for the Fine Art Digital students.
With their high profile, large marketing budgets and dramatic locations it is easy to find and visit galleries like Tate Modern, the National Gallery or the Saatchi Gallery but to search out and visit the more hidden spaces, the spaces where fascinating grassroots activity is emerging is much more difficult.
Today was a real treat as Holly Willats from Art Licks led a tour of 5 very diverse spaces in Hackney, East London. However, visiting the spaces was only half of the experience, the whole day was enhanced by opportunities to speak to owners and curators at each space and the discussions that happened as we walked.
We started at X marks the bökship a a bookshop and project space for independent publishers where owner and manager Eleanor Vonne Brown introduced the current artist postcard exhibition.
Next was Acme Project Space, the unusually double triangular shaped space of the huge studio provider Acme. Lea O’Loughlin the manager of Acme’s International Residencies Programme introduced the current exhibition by Canadian artist Sophie Jodoin. She explained the purpose of the project space as somewhere artists, particularly those on the international residency programme, can test ideas in a public setting but outside of what may be somewhat restrictive systems around their own gallery representation.
We then visited Space In Between in the Regent Studios building and an exhibition by Brazilian artist Adriano Amaral. Hannah Hooks and Laura McFarlane who run the space talked about the work and some of their own experiences in running a variety of spaces and the challenges of sustaining curatorial practice over the long term.
On the top floor of the Regent Studios building we visited Five Years a collaborative artists’ project with an unusual structure. There are 12 members who can present 2 exhibitions every 18 months, 1 exhibition can include their own work but the other must by an invitational show. The current show was showing some early films by Ian Bourn.
On the way down an amazing sky was presented above us!
Finally we visited space studios where curator Paul Pieroni gave a tour round the 4 different exhibitions currently on show.
These included a show of early video work by Paul McCarthy, presented in a field of old monitors,
and a video installation in the original graffiti covered stairwell showing an intriguing play with a 1960s tv interview with Situationist International co-founder Michèle Bernstein, often with comic effect.