South London has always been known for having a strong culture in the creative arts. From famous musicians and songwriters through to artists and architects, the creative arts sector has always been strongly supported in South London since time anon. None of this could be possible if it wasn’t for the great support that the sector has had through various institutions. Not least of these are the vast array of independent art galleries that exist all over the area, that help to promote and showcase work of artists living in South London. We happen to know quite a few of these, and thought it good to share with you some of them to check out if you are into buying art or are an artist and are looking for the perfect place to showcase and sell some of your work...
1. Ben Oakley Gallery - Greenwich
Situated in the intimate setting of Greenwich Market, Ben Oakley’s art gallery is home to a diverse and ever-changing range of work from a variety of local artists. With politically charged pieces and a taste for the current, Ben’s choice of artwork to curate is always thought-provoking and tasteful.
2. 198 Gallery - Herne Hill
The 198 Gallery (a registered charity) was born back in the 1980s at a time when racism and discrimination was rife in London, particularly in areas with high immigrant populations, and at a time where stop and search laws allowed police to randomly stop and search members of the community openly in the street. 198 Gallery was originally a charity called Roots Community Limited, which aimed to promote diversity, equality and inclusion. Evolving this community based project over the years, 198 Gallery has now become a fully functioning art gallery and produces and curates amazing artwork from all over London on a regular basis. Alongside the artwork they also allow artists and others to rent their space for a nominal fee and work with different organisations across South London.
3. Gallery London - Hither Green
Established by local people as a hub for artistic activity in the area, Gallery London showcases a diverse range of work in different mediums; from furniture and sculpture, to classic paintings and photography. Located in Hither Green, this small local art gallery is run by two locals who are passionate about exploring the area’s creativity and are providing a platform for artists to come forward and showcase their work. Find out more about the shop here.
4. Gallery Seventeen - Beckenham
Independent framing shop and gallery, Gallery Seventeen, lies in the heart of Beckenham, just a few seconds from Beckenham Junction station. It is an evolving comprehensive art centre with a wide range of local and international art available. The gallery also provides workshops and training for budding artists or people who just fancy taking something new up or learning a new skill. Among these classes are painting, drawing, and making ceramics. Find out more here.
5. Studio 73 - Brixton
Set in the heart of Brixton Village, Studio 73 is a quaint and lovely art gallery and framing shop. They showcase local artists with rolling exhibitions of original paintings, drawings, photography and editioned prints. As art galleries go, this one is unlikely to show the same thing twice, with a pentitude of artists showcasing their work there on a regular basis. Check out what’s on offer at the moment here.
6. The Flood Gallery - Greenwich Market
One of the cherished small businesses that make up the inner perimeter of Greenwich Market, The Flood Gallery is an accomplished trader and showcases some incredible local art. Having made a name for themselves for their unique and varied collection of band-posters and other similarly themed work, The Flood Gallery is perfect for music lovers wanting to surround themselves with their favourite bands and creative takes on their favourite live performances. Check out some of these epic gig posters taken from some historic, famous concerts going back to the 1950s here.
7. GX Gallery - Camberwell
Located in an area of South London known more than anything else for its artistic intake, with the Camberwell College of Arts sitting in the middle of the area attracting many aspiring artists from across the country, GX Gallery is an eclectic gallery that aims to support both established and emerging artists. The GX Gallery house exhibitions and events with artists’ work from a multitude of backgrounds, styles and experiences. This amazing local venture is host to a regular programme of commercial solo and group exhibitions and exhibits work at a number of local and regional art fairs throughout the year. Check out what they’re exhibiting here.
8. Bearspace - Deptford
All about the new and emerging talent, Deptford’s Bearspace provides a platform for nurturing artists and helping them get their careers off the ground. Based in the heart of Deptford on Deptford High Street, it is rooted firmly in the local community and supports the local, vibrant art scene in Deptford. Find out what they currently have on here.
9. Artful Pelican - Lee Green
The brainchild of local philanthropist David Coombe, Artful Pelican is the first of its kind in Lewisham. It provides a uniquely inspiring platform that showcases the artwork of homeless people in London. The art shown in the gallery is all created by people who are or have been homeless and are struggling to get back on their feet in society. David and the team are regularly speaking to, and sourcing work from, homeless, ex-homeless and/or vulnerable artists to display at the gallery. The gallery is very much trade, rather than aid, oriented; giving the artists a real, long-lasting, sense of accomplishment in addition to the funds they need to begin improving their living situations. To check out what they’ve currently got on display, click here.