Don’t automatically answer the East End; South London has been making waves in the art world lately. Where else can you have a coffee in a stationary train carriage decorated by local artists, or watch art being thrown into a giant bin?
Bea de Souza was one of the first to spot the trend and relocate her experimental art gallery, theAGENCY gallery, from Shoreditch to Deptford. Her reasons for moving included the community feel in Deptford, and the mix of artists and locals. Set in a row of terraced houses, the gallery easily blends in. The only clue that it might be different from the other homes is that the exterior is painted black.
South London’s art scene has benefitted from the recession, as would-be developers have pulled out and artists have negotiated low rents in the empty spaces. One example is The Old Police Station in New Cross. The police moved next door, and the old station has been converted into studios, a gallery, and a popular café. The old cells are used for special installations.
Even though the area may only now be receiving recognition as a creative hotspot, the scene has been developing for a while. Goldsmiths University has been located in New Cross for years, and as well as fuelling the creative energy of the area, many students choose to live locally after they graduate.
If you fancy exploring the South’s art scene take a look at the Deptford Art Map which details galleries and art spaces in Deptford. Highlights include: