“Cross Kettles Yard in Cambridge with Barbara Hepworth’s studio in St Ives, throw in a quirky café and you’ll have the latest addition to the Camberwell Art Scene: the all-new South London Gallery.”
Friday saw the long awaited opening of the new SLG extension. The Matsudaira Wing now seamlessly extends into the once dilapidated neighbouring terraced house increasing the size and scope of the exhibition space along with the addition of a funky new café and an artist is residence apartment.
On the other side of the original 1891 Victorian gallery is now a large garden courtyard. To the right the huge floor to ceiling doors of the Clore studio swing open while a ceiling lantern runs the length of the building allowing more natural light to flood in. The outside tables and chairs are overlooked by the Marie Curie block of Sceaux Gardens, devastated by fire in 2009 the high rise has found a new lease of life with a bright buoyant mural by Yinka Shonibare.
Through the Clore Studio a beautiful brick path weaves through the newly planted Fox Garden back towards the back of the house where a new Atrium furnished simply with a long wood table stands beneath a sumptuous golden work by Paul Morrison. Beyond waft the smells of the ‘No. 67’ café. The ‘front room’ is taken up with tables and chairs and the neutral sludge colours sit well with the bulb lights and rough wood floor. Out front are more tables and chairs with a fine vista across the Peckham Road!
Upstairs are three more small exhibition rooms while the top floor has been transformed into an apartment with roof terrace. 6a Architects have striped and hacked illuminating the fabric of the building removing the ceilings to reveal the roof joists and do away with plasterwork to expose brick walls. From October the outset flat will be used for artists in residence.
The current exhibition ‘Nothing is Forever’ aims to seamlessly marry art and architecture; works have been made directly onto the walls to become part of the fabric of the building forever.
The SLG hosts five contemporary art exhibitions each year. Exhibitions and many of the SLG’s events are free. There is also a shop selling books and magazines relating to the works on view as well as those covering art theory and philosophy, artist monographs, live art, film and music.
I think the gallery is a great addition to our area and would recommend everyone visit.
Opening: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am‑6.30pm, Wednesdays, 10am-9pm
more photos at: flickr.com/photos/nickwoodford/sets/72157624357938986/