Whether due to rising rents or the vagaries of fashion, the East London art scene has a contender. This Friday, 96 galleries from South of the River stay open until 8.30pm, and all of them can be found on the new South London Art Map.
With listed galleries in Pimlico, Greenwich and most places in between, the up and coming area offers three scenes for the price of one. So in fact there are separate maps for Bankside, Peckham and Deptford.
Arts Council England, Southwark Council and Tate Modern are among the supporters of the scheme. But the new map, late night opening and organised tours have been put together by Hub Art Maps, which shares an address with indie gallery BEARSPACE.
BEARSPACE Director Julia Alvarez is also Director of South London Art Map, which has three gallery champions: Alvarez has picked the 23 venues in Deptford; Emily Druiff from Peckham Space has chosen 29 from Peckham; and 44 Bankside spaces have been selected by Naomi Siderfin from artist-led initiative Beaconsfield.
With both metropolitan Tates, the Hayward and Dulwich Picture Gallery all on their doorstep, not all local landmarks will require a map. Goldsmiths University of London and University of the Arts London Camberwell are of course features, while artists who have made their names here include Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley.
Having said that, much of the area still boasts a certain out-of-the-way charm. Since the opening of the London Overground and the development of the Olympic Park in Stratford, the East may be losing ground in these stakes if nowhere else.
- Participating galleries will open late on the final Friday of each month. To download copies of all three maps visit www.southlondonartmap.com. The first 25 people to arrive at each venue on the night can claim a limited edition badge designed by Hew Locke.