With its mix of grand, historic museums and thriving independent art studios, London is still one of the best gallery-hopping cities in the world. But there’s always room for one more. Located in the quietly cool East London neighbourhood of Clapton, The Depot is the latest venture from artist/curator Suzannah Pettigrew, who founded the space with Tilley Harris in late 2012. On the eve of its opening exhibition, Suzannah shares some of her favourite galleries in London. (No prizes for guessing the first one.)
38 Upper Clapton Road, London, E5 8BQ
Disclaimer: I’m the co-director of The Depot in Clapton. The photographer Tilley Harris and I have been renovating the space for the past year, to transform an almost-derelict building into the creative complex of studios, a gallery and project space that it is now (Ed’s note: There’s also a really good cafe out front). The building was originally acquired by the architectural and creative development consultants SUSD, who backed the redevelopment proposal that Tilley and I set out a couple of years ago.
Alongside Roxie Warder, I’ve co-curated a series of exhibitions for The Depot’s 2013 programme, the first of which is a solo show of steel sculptures titled Stellen by Lewis Teague Wright. That opens to the public on Thursday 7th February and runs for two weeks. After Stellen, our programme will continue to be a mix of London-based and international artists, showing bi-monthly throughout 2013.
Museum of Everything
Museum of Everything is a gallery without a permanent space, so the exhibitions feel that bit more exciting when they’re announced. I particularly loved two shows that I attended at their semi-permanent (now non-existent) Primrose Hill location… I went to Exhibition 3 more than once; Sir Peter Blake had collaborated with the Museum of Everything to create a truly amazing installation. The space was filled with delights including fairground paraphernalia, tapestries from Ted Wilcox, collections upon collections of curious objects, and a Victorian stuffed animal world from Walter Potter. They currently have an exhibition in Paris at the Chalet Society - I’m seriously considering jumping on the Eurostar to get my fix of the wonderful world of everything.
Tate Modern / Tate Britain
Bankside, London SE1 9TG & Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Both of London’s most famous galleries are always worth a visit for their permanent collections alone - they could keep you entertained for hours. But the major exhibitions are worth paying for, too. The Tate Modern is an industrial wonder in stature, and the recent opening of the Tate Tanks has only enhanced the Tate experience.
I’ll always be thankful to the Tate Britain for introducing me to the work of Mike Nelson is the form of The Coral Reef; an incredible installation that I wish everyone could walk through. I’m also really excited about the forthcoming exhibition, Kurt Schwitters in Britain.
The Cob Gallery
205 Royal College Street, London, NW1 0SG
So many galleries are in East, West or South London, so it was great to see one opening in North London (especially with it being walking distance from my old abode). The main space is beautifully lit with natural light streaming in from the building’s glass front, while the entrance level enables you to view some of the exhibited works from the interior walkway above - it’s the gallery’s most redeeming spatial feature. Last year, I exhibited work there as part of a group exhibition called The Yellow Wallpaper. That was a great experience.
56 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7LS
Possibly my favourite exhibition space in London. Raven Row is set within a series of 18th century domestic rooms, with two additional contemporary gallery spaces. I was introduced to the gallery in 2009 via an incredible show by Eduardo Paolozzi called The Jet Age Condendium. More recently, The Individual and the Organisation: Artist Placement Group schooled me on the trichromatic screenprints of Leonard Hessing (Google it!)
Jack Bell Gallery
13 Masons Yard, London, SW1Y 6BU
Overlooking the White Cube in Masons Yard, Mayfair, the Jack Bell Gallery consistently exhibits works that intrigue me. They’re known for championing contemporary artists from Africa and beyond, with notable past shows including Somewhere Else: Manoj Koshi, Devi and Kajal Kanti Dey and Taking It With You: Paa Joe. Make it your first stop if you’re doing the Mayfair gallery rounds.
STELLEN by Lewis Teague Wright
Open daily 12 - 6 pm
7th- 22nd February
The Depot, 38 Upper Clapton Road, Clapton, E5 8BQ London, UK