Something in Greenwich Peninsula that isn’t the O2.
That’s a breath of fresh air.
NOW Gallery is housed in a huge glass horseshoe (which almost always has a large-scale installation visible from the paving outside). And unsurprisingly, given the name of the place, the installations are all about cutting-edge, contemporary art; but it’s also art that’s thankfully accessible and unpretentious.
It’s all free, and their exhibition space is genuinely huge, allowing for them to put on some of the city’s largest walk-through installations. They typically put on five different shows a year, including three solo shows from the worlds of art, fashion, photography, and design. They tend to focus on up and coming artists – in fact, their mission statement is to “champion emerging designers and new schools of thought”, and helping them to “experiment with unusual exhibition and display formats”. Oh, and keeping it all free.
Lydia Chan – Your Ship Has Landed © Charles Emerson
Some of the shows they’ve produced before include:
What I Like by Molly Goddard – here, the gallery saw several massively oversized dresses suspended from the ceiling on pulleys, such that their heights could be adjusted by the viewers. Then, visitors were invited to embroider, stitch, and sew as they pleased with the materials provided.
Slices of Time by Emmanuelle Moureaux – the artist divided the gallery space with dozens of layers of hanging numbers in precisely 100 different shades of colour. Those layers, and gradually morphing colours, represent the natural ebb and flow of time itself in a vibrant, walk-through rainbow.
Your Ship Has Landed by Lydia Chan – a colour-warping, shape-shifting, totally alien landscape to walk through, with a little AR to experience courtesy of digital artists Songyee Kim and Thibault Evrard.
Currently, though, you’ll find Joy Yamusangie’s Feeling Good, a collection of colourful illustrations and paintings that celebrate jazz and trans identity, housed in a jazz bar that feels like walking round a real life pop-up book. There’s also a jazz soundtrack playing, and a piano you can jump on if you’d rather make your own music.
But besides exhibitions, NOW Gallery also holds events, talks, lates, live music, and even the occasional fashion show, too…
You might even forget that the O2 is even there.
NOTE: NOW Gallery is open Tues-Sun, with Joy Yamusangie’s exhibition running until 5th June. It’s free to visit, and you can see more info on current and upcoming shows at their website right HERE.
NOW Gallery | The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ
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