Friday, 3 June 2011

Deptford on the Culture Show

On the Culture Show on BBC2 last night, the Deptford-born South London Art Map rubbed shoulders with David Attenborough and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hallowed company indeed!
Writer Michael Smith visited Deptford and Peckham on a 'Last Friday' to experience the 'late night openings that many art galleries in the area host once a month.

I did have to laugh at the fact that the opening scene to the report shows Mr Smith starting his brave exploration of the far-flung south east of London by Riverboat. No wonder he thinks it's a long way out, the boat is not exactly the quickest way to Deptford and it's a bit of a schlep from Greenland Pier. I know an 8 minute train ride from London Bridge is perhaps not the most picturesque journey to show as an opener but it begs the question why they needed to show the journey at all? Oh yes, sorry, to reinforce the opinion held by everyone else in the media that it's a Long Way to south east London. Mr Smith trots out a few such comments in his intro, reinforcing the opinion held by everyone else in south east London that the mainstream media are navel-gazing idiots who couldn't work out how to swipe an Oystercard at an overground station if their lives depended on it. Ho hum.

Tired cliches aside, the report is worth a look for a snapshot of the local art scene and to get an idea of the rapid expansion Last Fridays has undergone in recent months. The tour takes in Deptford stalwarts Bearspace, APT, The Old Police Station and Creekside as well as including some nice shots of the high street and market, before moving on to Peckham to visit some of the galleries there. Peckham and Bankside linked up with the Deptford Art Map last year to create the South London Art Map, which has given the initiative even greater impetus and undoubtedly helped it to be taken seriously by programmes such as the Culture Show.

The report is not so much about the art as the Last Fridays initiative, but Smith does include a few pieces in his report, including a nice shot of Deptford Creek at low tide featuring Sue Lawes' installation Creekery #2. Sue has written a fascinating blog about the creation and set-up of the work, as well as the difficulties of keeping the crockery clean for the purposes of documentation.

You can watch the episode here on BBC iplayer for the next week. The Last Fridays section begins about 20 minutes in.

4 comments:

BEARSPACE said...

This was a great piece and Michael really documented the scene well, he spent a day with us in Deptford scoping out the local scene. Apparently on the day he wanted to get some shots of locals at the market and Cod Fathers, but was chased around by a local mad hare, so they had to change tact as people thought she was with them! Good to know they had a real Deptford experience when they were here! Love Sue Lawes piece and the golden loo at APT......

Sir Compton said...

Just watched it. Great fun and a good puff for the area.

biff bifferson said...

ugh. didnt realise it was that whiney north easter twerp doing it. i feel infected by his shabby appearance and mangled diction.

Anonymous said...

just watched the program and really in joyed it ,knowing that the artist and gallery are good and in deptford is great , but and a big but it wont quiet work with the real deptford people as this program segregated its self from that, as i am well known in the area and born and bred here , i agree that deptford should be promoted because deptford is a great place and offers more to anyone then any-other area .the art only starts from the history of the area for it to stay and be strong not new art that is here today gone tomorrow and the same applies to the people so in my opinion the program only hi lighted the new art and the new people so maybe the show went aboat it the wrong way,remember the real ingredients to any movement is key and i feel that there was some missing ,mem