Last Fridays is like the baby sister of White Nights: young and unkempt but also loaded with potential and continually growing.
Over a hundred galleries and studios across Peckham, Deptford and Bankside are collectively known as the South London Art Map (SLAM). Last Fridays is a late night opening on the final Friday of each month. It’s as simple as that, and it’s free.
It’s quite amazing just how many small and unique galleries are dotted around and the variety of exhibitions available; in addition to the classic stand and stare option there is live performance, design, sculpture, workshops, tours and interactive media.
Last Friday evening a friend and I explored Peckham; a new experience for us both. A quick visit to the SLAM website brought up a list of events on that night and a printer-friendly map of the venues.
We made a modest plan for the evening – I wanted to watch avante garde theatre and my friend wanted to chat to a ceramicist – and set off.
In just over two hours we visited an artist in her studio where we shared wine and discussed style and political inspiration; we walked a stone’s throw away to the Sunday Painter for the launch of an artist’s new collection; and rushed over to Peckham Space for a multi-media exploration of the self. We’d specifically targeted these shows but were lucky enough to take a wrong turn and discover a fringe theatre and comedy bar down a creepy alleyway too.
The night only runs from 6-8pm so we weren’t able to squeeze in any more locations, but it was an inspirational and highly enjoyable experience.
Yes, we got lost but had fun finding our way back on route.
No, we didn’t see everything, but that would be virtually impossible.
Yes, we will certainly do it again.
Where White Nights takes over a city, Last Fridays opens it up to show off the little gems. It’s a great way to highlight what’s going on in the south London art scene, and allow the time for busy people to experience these wonderful things.
If you’re in the mood for an evening stroll interspersed with culture, wine and enlightening conversation, pop along. Or if you want to catch one particular exhibition before it closes, then it’s worth braving the cold.
For more information, please visit: www.southlondonartmap.com/events/last-fridays
*images thanks to: SLAM Facebook page