Nunnery Gallery

Nunnery Gallery

The Nunnery is a contemporary art space run by Bow Arts. It is located in the heart of London’s Artist Quarter and a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park.

Venue Type:

Artist studio or collective, Gallery

Opening hours

Tues to Sun, 10am - 5pm

Admission charges


Getting there

The gallery is located on "Bow Arts Lane" which lies between 181 and 183 Bow Road, opposite to Bow Church. It is a six minute walk from Bow Road Tube Station, or 3 minutes from Bow Church DLR. We are step free and fully wheelchair accessible.

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Lindsey Mclean and Tai Tran

2019 Bow Open Show, selected by Carey Young

  • 27 September — 15 December 2019

Choosing from some of the charity’s near 500 studio holders, many of whom are showing new pieces, the result is a selection of artistic works which engage with varied political themes including politics, migration, gender identity, borders and climate change; poignantly and critically addressing some of today’s most pressing cultural conversations.

Young, whose own practice has developed from a cross-fertilisation of disciplines including law, politics and business, has made a selection that explores these themes in varied and often witty ways. Lindsey Mclean’s painting ‘Salome on the Underground’ (2017) presents a seated, nonchalant young woman on the Tube, her plastic bag holding the head of a man, while Marcus Orlandi’s papier-mache sculpture ‘Man Sandwich’ wittily presents a ham sandwich as if also, somehow, a codpiece – sending up male vulnerability. In ‘INSULAE’ (2019), an innovative new video work investigating the idea of an ‘island mentality’ by Nye Thompson, Google Earth has been repurposed to create a video artwork in which we fly over the waters just off the British mainland. In contrast, ‘Performing Identities’ (2017-18) by Almudena Romero uses an archaic tintype photographic process associated with the Victorian era to photograph people who consider themselves immigrants.

Victoria Burgher’s ceramic installation ‘Surviving’ (2019) has been laminated with golden survival blankets, and displayed like an archaeological find, as if re-examining this symbol of migration so familiar from recent news. Tai Tran also considers his own identity as an immigrant in his collage ‘The Golden Thread 1’, using torn imagery of the Statue of Liberty to consider the relations between myth and reality. Additionally, Bernie Clarkson’s witty painting ‘A cry for something to be done’ (2010) is a faux-naïve, colourful portrait of an older woman, head in hands, as if totally exhausted by the current state of the world.

The Bow Open Show is the only exhibition in the Nunnery’s programme to present Bow Arts studio artists exclusively, and is highly anticipated for presenting some of London’s most exciting and recent artwork.

Carey Young is a visual artist based in London. She has developed her artistic practice from a cross-fertilisation of disciplines including law, business and politics. Working across various media including performance, installation, text and sound, her recent videos and photographic works consider the complex relations between gender, law and the cinematic. Young’s work has been exhibited widely, including solo shows at Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne), Dallas Museum of Art, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Zurich), The Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Eastside Projects (Birmingham), and group shows at Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris and Brussels), Tate Britain, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Hayward Gallery and Tate Liverpool amongst many others. She is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Sanah Ahsan press shot

Queer Pakistani Muslim Poet Sanah Ahsan

  • 28 September 2019 7:15-7:45pm

<b>Who is Sanah Ahsan?</b>
Sanah Ahsan is a Queer Pakistani Muslim Womxn, Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Spoken Word Artist and Published Poet. She is also active in social justice and community spaces.

Her performance journey began with BBC Words First, and has taken her to the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. She recently won the Outspoken Prize 2019 in the Performance Poetry category for her piece "My Dua is Love."

Sanah works closely with grassroots organisation Jawaab in tackling Islamophobia, and her activism has involved collaborating with organisations such as Human Appeal and Childline.

She is currently conducting research to deconstruct whiteness within clinical psychology, whilst developing community projects promoting further dialogue around QTIPOC, young people’s mental health, and spaces for queer muslim womxn.

Suitable for

  • 18+
John Akinde press shot

Poetry and rap from John Akinde

  • 28 September 2019 6:45-7pm

<b>Who is John Akinde?</b>
John Akinde, is a young up-and-coming poet, rapper and theatre-maker from the East End of London. John started writing initially through rap & grime, until given the opportunity to explore poetry through a local performing arts project.  Along the years, he has written and continues to create work that seeks to inspire and provoke thought. His work explores topics like youth justice, gang crime and social mobility, and has been performed in various venues nationwide e.g. Roundhouse, BBC. He is also a recipient of CPT’s seed commission to artists of colour (2018).

Electronica trio Benin City
Mina Rose
Poetry from Queer Pakistani Muslim Womxn Sanah Ahsan

Suitable for

  • 18+


Bow Arts Courtyard

EMERGE Festival | Here-Now-Us

  • 28 September 2019 5-10pm

A unique night of artistic exploration, Here-Now-Us features a fierce lineup of young and exciting artists, with London trio Benin City – pulsing rave synths and Guardian's "one to watch" – headlining, supported by modern musical enigma Mina Rose, spoken word artist and award-winning poet Sanah Ahsan and rapper and theatre-maker John Akinde.

Taking place across the Nunnery Gallery's former convent's gothic arches and hidden outdoor courtyard, this one-off event aims to showcase some of London's freshest talent with a backdrop of arresting artwork, as the gallery also presents the 2019 Bow Open Show, selected by Carey Young whose selection responds to "our current political moment".

Benin City will be headlining in the Bow Arts Courtyard with a hook-laden blend of Afro-dance pop, hip-hop, spoken word and electronica that is both infectious and poignant; it's music for the dancefloor which has taken them to SXSW, The Great Escape and now Emerge. Supported by gripping, modern musical enigma Mina Rose, a multi-layered singer-songwriter with a visual arts background, who recently supported 2019 Brit Award winner Jorja Smith on tour; Sanah Ahsan, queer Pakistani Muslim womxn, trainee clinical psychologist, spoken word artist and published poet, who's worked with the BBC and Shakespeare's Globe and whose performance poetry recently won the Outspoken Prize 2019; and up-and-coming poet, rapper and theatre-maker John Akinde from London’s East End.

The Nunnery's current exhibition, the 2019 Bow Open Show, presents 19 artist's work that responds to “our current political moment", open to all definitions of ‘us’, of ‘time’, or, indeed, ‘politics’” in line with the exhibition's 'call to arms' from its curator, artist Carey Young. Themes explored include migration, gender identity, borders and climate change, and artists will be speaking about their processes, influences and inspirations through a series of five minute performances/explorations from 5-7pm. Also on show will be designer Yinka Ilori’s ‘Estate Playground’ – a playful installation featuring an interactive swing and see-saw; created for the London Design Festival 2017, this ‘adult’ playground features vivid colours and cultural cues from Ilori’s Nigerian heritage. Four vibrant flags will be flying by artist Emma Curd, made with Bow's local residents during Curd's ' ‘Visible Voices’ residency with Bow Arts, which marked the centenary of women's suffrage through a series of free workshops highlighting the importance of having and using our voices. Finally, the Nunnery's famous alleyway light sculpture by Matt Owen will be presenting a new light programme reflecting the electric energy of the evening.

Don't miss this explorative and stimulating night of performance and live music; interact with contemporary art in a way you never have before; enjoy a unique cocktail from our jazzy drinks menu run by the Nunnery Café; and feast on some of the best pizza in town from our very own pop-up pizza van.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • Any age


Book Saturday only tickets – from £15
Book all access Friday and Saturday tickets – from £30
One ticket will allow you to access all of the nine circuits across London on either Friday, Saturday or both nights.


Getting there

The gallery is located on "Bow Arts Lane" which lies between 181 and 183 Bow Road, opposite to Bow Church. It is a six minute walk from Bow Road Tube Station, or 3 minutes from Bow Church DLR. We are step free and fully wheelchair accessible.

Nunnery Gallery
181 Bow Road
Greater London
E3 2SJ




020 8980 7774

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.