One of London’s lesser known art galleries, the South London Gallery lurks in deepest Camberwell – right next to Camberwell School of Art – and is well worth a visit.
The South London Fine Art Gallery opened in Peckham Road on May 4, 1891,and two years later the Prince of Wales officially opened a lecture hall and library funded by newspaper owner John Passmore Edwards.
In modern times, the gallery has gained a reputation for putting on “cutting edge” exhibitions, being the first to host Tracey Emin’s ‘Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995’ tent installation, and the likes of Damien Hirst, Gilbert and George, Anselm Kiefer and Gavin Turk have all displayed their work there.
The SLG puts on five exhibitions per year in its main space and another five in a suite of three domestic scale galleries in the Matsudaira Wing.
It was hard to take photos of the video installation in the darkness, and even harder to take photos of the curious space upstairs.
It was accessed through a long dark corridor before you ended up in a near pitch-black, carpeted small room, only lit by the slight glow of a bank of VU meters while being blasted by some very pleasant classical music.
I don’t know what it was supposed to mean, but I liked it.
A welcome addition to the gallery is the adjacent No. 67 cafe. Fully licensed, the cafe offers salads, tarts and quiches, soups, sandwiches, fair trade coffee and delicious cake. It’s a lovely place to hang out.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 8am-6.30pm except Wednesdays until 11pm, last Friday of the month until 11pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6.30pm.
The outside area to the cafe – deserted because it was taken on a particularly chilly March afternoon!
South London Gallery
65 Peckham Road
City of London
Telephone 020 7703 6120