London is undoubtedly the centre of the art world. The city is a melting pot of artistic creativity, attracting many of the world’s top artists. In London you’ll find many of the world’s top galleries as well as many famous art events and fairs which attract people from all four corners of the globe. While the major galleries are certainly worth exploring, there are many hidden galleries that often get overlooked. Here’s a guide to 6 hidden London art galleries.
The Old Police Station
The Old Police Station is a very unique art gallery because of its location, but also because it functions as a do-it-yourself art centre. There are 42 artists’ studios, cells complete with latrines where works can be exhibited and spaces for independent projects. You’ll also find studios for band rehearsals and a radio station. The station’s old mess hall serves as the venue’s primary social space, which is populated by gallery goers on the last Friday of every month – these Fridays are known as ‘Slam Fridays’ and are very popular. The Old Police Station is housed in the Deptford Police Station, which boasts Edwardian architecture.
114-116 Amersham Vale, London, SE14 6LG
The Crypt Gallery is more than just an art gallery: it’s a unique place with history and a somewhat eerie character. The crypt beneath St. Pancras Church was used to bury the dead between 1822 and 1854; some 557 people are still buried here, something which adds to the atmosphere and make this a gallery like no other. During both World War I and World War II the crypt was used as an air raid shelter. It was in 2002 that The Crypt Gallery opened, offering contemporary art displayed in a place with a creepy yet calming atmosphere you’d be hard-pushed to find elsewhere. The Crypt Gallery is open year-long, with many exhibitions and events lined up.
St. Pancras Church, Euston Rd, London, NW1 2BA
This art gallery can be found on Platform One of the Hackney Downs railway station. This rather unique gallery was founded in 2009 and exhibits works by local artists, as well as lots of printed materials and text-based works. At this gallery you can also enjoy regular discussions and talks about the works that are being exhibited. You can also make use of the public archive and purchase a variety of artists’ publications which are on sale at the bookshop.
Platform 1, Hackney Downs Network Rail, Dalston Lane, London, E8 1LA
The Cabinet Gallery often goes overlooked because it doesn’t draw much attention to itself and deliberately keeps a low public profile. This gallery has moved about a few times over the course of its 20 year existence; it could previously be found in Farringdon and Brixton. The gallery’s site is very minimalistic and it seems the only way to find out more about it is to subscribe. In an age where art galleries are endlessly vying for attention and publicity, the approach made by Cabinet Gallery makes it seem more intriguing and fascinating than the standard gallery.
49-59 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HX
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