Interesting small art galleries you need to know about
By Sophia Moss (follow Sophia on Twitter: @EndlessMoss)
There’s no denying that London has more than its fair share of art galleries and as Londoners we are spoiled for choice when it comes to culture. We have tons of big art galleries that are full of famous and amazing paintings, but sometimes you want something a bit more off the beaten track. If you are interested in new talent, contemporary art and all the wacky creativity that London has to offer then next time you’re in need for some culture why not give The Tate a miss and head down to one of these awesome small art galleries?
#1 | The Crypt Gallery London | Euston
If you’re looking for something a bit different you should definitely take a look at The Crypt of St Pancras Parish Church in Euston. This 18th century crypt was first used as a gallery space in 2002 and it is now a popular host for many art shows and exhibitions. The crypt still hosts 557 bodies and as you walk through the columned arches and explore every dark nook and creepy cranny of this space you will get the sense that you’re not alone.
This is not your regular gallery space and the artists will typically utilise the crypt’s gravestones and natural surroundings to add an atmospheric backdrop to their work and highlight certain themes and ideas. This space is used to host art shows and exhibitions throughout the year and from 8th December-12th December The Crypt will be hosting an art show called ‘Infusion’ which will explore the political and cultural history of tea.
When? Opening times vary depending on what events are happening that day. For full details of upcoming events please refer to The Crypt Gallery’s website.
Where? The closest train station is Euston, but you can also reach The Crypt Gallery via King’s Cross, Warren Street and Russell Square. For more travel information and a map of the area click here.
#2 | Dadiani Fine Art | Mayfair
Dadiani Fine Art is located right in the heart of one of Mayfair’s most artistic streets. Cork street is filled with galleries, auction houses and private collections and it is definitely worth a visit. Dadiani is focused on British and international fine artists, and not only does this gallery work with well known artists throughout the world but it also strives to showcase the work of unknown artists and help them gain recognition.
This gallery runs several exhibitions throughout the year and they are currently showcasing ‘Amantita: Russian Alphabet Selected Works’, an exhibition which introduces you to the Russian alphabet through modern art. This exhibition is suitable for all ages and uses the medium of colouring books to explore powerful themes in Russian history.
When? Monday – Friday 11:00 am – 6:00pm.
Where? 30 Cork Street, W1S 3NG. For more information and contact details please refer to the Dadiani Fine Art website.
#3 | The Redfern Gallery | Mayfair
Like most galleries on Cork Street the Redfern Gallery is a commercial dealership and most of the art you’ll see in this gallery is for sale. This long-established gallery focuses on modern and contemporary art and previous exhibitions have explored modern British art, paintings from the 60s, abstract, realism, print and sculpture.
From the 5th of October until the 12th of November 2016 this gallery will be showcasing an exhibition called ‘Margaret Mellis: Paintings and Constructions’. This exhibition will focus on the career of modern artist Margaret Mellis and will feature her earliest work from the 30s as well as paintings that have never been seen before.
When? Monday to Friday 11:00am – 5:30 pm
Where? 20 Cork Street, London, W1S 3HL. This gallery is located in the heart of one of London’s most high-end and famous artistic streets and is just opposite Burlington Arcade and behind the Royal Academy of Arts. For more information about this gallery please see here.
#4 | JonaQuestArt | Greenwich
JonaQuestArt is an awesome little gallery located just outside Greenwich Market in south east London. This gallery showcases international art with a particular focus on Africa and it’s diaspora, and it is currently running an exhibition on the subject of African Queens. This is a small and friendly art gallery which will introduce you to some amazing art work, complex themes and an array of cultures which you may not find in a more Euro-centric space.
As this is a ‘Gallerop’ (gallery shop) if you see anything you really like you can take it home for you. JonaQuestArt also sells a range of reasonably priced hand made items such as jewellery boxes, cushions and even stools, all of which are one-of-a-kind. This gallery runs themed exhibitions throughout the year, but even if there isn’t an exhibition currently running there will still be plenty of art to look at.
When? Opening times are Tuesday & Wednesday 11:30am-6:30 pm, Thursday 10:20am-7:30pm, Friday 10:30 am-6:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday 11:00am-7:00pm. Exhibition times may vary so for more information please see here.
Where? 36 Greenwich Church Street, London, SE10 9BL.
#5 | The Flood Gallery | Greenwich
The Flood Gallery is really half gallery and half shop/boutique as most of the posters and merchandise are for sale. This gallery is centred around ‘posters as art’ and this small space is full of colourful, inspired and artistic posters which depict famous musicians and bands such as David Bowie and The Cure.
The prints are reasonably priced so if you see a particularly awesome poster of an all time favourite band you might end up with some brand new art for your house. This gallery is conveniently located in the famous Greenwich Market which is full of tasty food stalls and unique boutiques.
When? Monday to Sunday 10:00 am- 6: 00 pm.
Where? 8 Greenwich Market, London, SE10 9HZ. The gallery is about one minute away from Cutty Sark DLR and is located in the heart of Greenwich Market. For more information please refer to the Flood Galleries website.
#6 | Drawing Room | Bermondsey
Drawing Room is the only public, not-for-profit gallery in Europe which is totally focused on drawing. Drawing is a very impressive form of art but a lot of art galleries don’t tend to focus on it and tend to prefer painting, sculpture and collages, so if you are a fan of drawing and would like to learn more about it than this is the place for you.
Current exhibitions at the Drawing Room include ‘Crossing the Circle’ which is running until 13th November 2016. This exhibition focuses on the highly meaningful work of Philippe Vandenberg who used drawing as a medium to convey strong images of good, evil, sex and death, and if you are interested in meaningful modern art you should definitely take a look. There is also a ‘Thinking Tantra’ exhibition running until the 19th of February 2017 which focuses on the history, beliefs and styles of tantric drawings and aims to bring this form of art to a new audience.
When? Tuesday-Friday 11am- 6pm, Saturday-Sunday 12-6 pm. This gallery is open until 8pm on the last Friday of every month.
Where? Unit 8 Rich Estate, 46 Willow Walk, London, SE1 5SF. The closest tube stations are Bermonsdey and Elephant and Castle. For more information and a map of the area please see the galleries website.
#7 | The Photographers Gallery | Oxford Circus
This centrally located public gallery is completely dedicated to photography and is actually the largest photography gallery in London. They are currently hosting an exhibition called ‘Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s which is showcasing the work of 48 international female photographers and it explores the feminist art movement and how these women used photography as a medium to promote gender equality and emancipation by using their own bodies to assert their identity.
This gallery also showcases workshops, lectures, book launches and a variety of other exhibitions all centred around photography as an art form. Any budding photographers, photography enthusiasts and/or Instagram addicts will definitely enjoy what this gallery has to offer so why not head to the Photographers Gallery Website to find out more?
When? The Photographer’s Gallery is open 7 days a week. Monday- Saturday 10:00-6:00 pm, Sunday 11:00- 6:00 pm. The gallery may be open later on Thursdays during exhibitions and opening hours during the Christmas period will vary.
Where? The gallery is a two minute walk from Oxford Circus Tube Station and is located down a flight of stairs next to Boots pharmacy. For more information please see here.
#8 | M1 Fine Art | Greenwich
This is a classy art gallery that showcases some of the best art from all around the world. The art in question is really diverse and features beautiful still life paintings, sculptures and various forms of modern art. The rooms are beautifully decorated and are complete with atmospheric music, plants and sofa’s that you can relax on whilst you take in your surroundings.
This gallery is comprised of an upstairs and a downstairs area and has quite a lot of content for a small gallery. If you see anything you really like you can also purchase it, although as this is quite up-market work the prices aren’t exactly cheap.
When? Monday-Friday 10am- 6pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-7pm.
Where? 20 Nelson Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 9JB. The closest station is the Cutty Sark DLR and the gallery is located two streets away from Greenwich Park. For more information see here.
#9 | Viktor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors | Bethnal Green
This is the perfect place for those of you who appreciate the strange and macabre things in life. Viktor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors is a peculiar mixture of museum, curiosity shop, taxidermy collection, art gallery and performance space. Highlights include the shrunken head collection, skeletons having tea and a whole lot of erotica, and amongst all the madness there is the Viktor Wynd Fine Art gallery.
The gallery has produced 14 shows since its inception and on average runs 5 shows a year. This gallery primarily focuses on lesser known historical artists and new contemporary work, and keeping with the theme most of the featured art will focus on strange and bizarre subject matter. For more information about the gallery please refer to the Viktor Wynd Fine Art Gallery website.
When? Wednesday- Sunday 12-7 pm.
Where? 11 Mare Street, E8 4RP. This gallery can be accessed from Bethnal Green, Hackney Central and Hackney Downs station. For more information click here.