The South London Art Map, which launched earlier in February this year, is an online art guide, promoting art galleries and studio spaces in south London.
With the art scene in other areas of London firmly established, the South London Art Map looks to provide a new and credible alternative, promoting lesser known galleries and local hotbed of new artistic talent. Boasting over one hundred galleries and studio spaces, the map is spread across three different hubs with clusters of galleries in each area. Bankside encompasses many of the heavy hitters such as Tate Modern, Menier Gallery and Jerwood Space, to the slightly lesser known spaces such as Gasworks and The Cello Factory.
Furthest south on the map, Deptford includes the likes of BEARSPACE, which features many up and coming artists, Hatch Space, APT Gallery to cueB. Sandwiched in between the two areas, Peckham covers the promising and recently launched Peckham Space, the South London Gallery, which hosts a large exhibition programme, to the slightly smaller and grittier space of The Bun House.
The map seeks to encourage new visitors and open up the idea of visiting galleries to everyone. The curators at number82 remarked “lots of local people engaged with our installation, people did not feel intimidated by the idea of a ‘gallery’”. In particular, the opening hours for the LAST Fridays mean that many people who might ordinarily miss the opening times of a gallery during the day can now come along.
LAST Fridays is a free, late night opening of galleries on the last Friday of every month from 6-8pm. For many, this is an ideal opportunity to visit a gallery after work, enjoy a glass of wine and view some fantastic new works of art.
The post-event after-parties to which everyone is welcome are also proving to be a big hit with many local art students, young professionals and people interested in art coming along. There are also curator-led walking art tours enabling people to meet local gallery owners and learn more about the art in more detail.
In addition to the gallery listings, late night openings and tour details, the South London Art Map provides a regular online magazine featuring reviews of recent exhibitions. Produced in association with Art Licks, visitors to the site can regularly learn about upcoming exhibitions and what’s happening at local galleries.
The word is out
Word is definitely now out that the south London art scene is bubbling away, producing some credible and exciting talent. People are beginning to take it more seriously and give it the attention it deserves. With new studio spaces opening up and the influx of talent, things are definitely looking up.
Although only in its first year, the initial response and feedback to The Map has been overwhelmingly positive. The Guardian recently wrote an article of “10 of the best arts venues in south London”, which featured several of the map’s participant galleries. The project is funded by Arts Council England and supported by Southwark Council, Lewisham Council, BEARSPACE, South London Gallery, University of the Arts London, Tate Modern and Goldsmiths University of London.
- LAST Fridays: Late night opening of galleries in south London on the last Friday of every month from 6-8pm. Free event. Check the website for further details.
- TOURS: LAST Friday tours take place on the last Friday of every month from 6.30-8.30pm and cost £15. FIRST Saturday tours take place on the first Staurday of the month from 2-4pm.
- Hard copies of the South London Art Map can be obtained from any of the participant galleries or via the website.
- Details of LAST Friday aftershow parties can be found on the SLAM Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/southlondonartmap and Twitter pages @SLArtMap.