Wednesday 22 September 2010

Deptford X 2010 preview

A post by Marmoset over on Crosswhatfields blog nicely captures my own feeling of anticipation at the imminent arrival of Deptford X.

Art-lovers in Deptford are very lucky to have year-round access to contemporary art in our local galleries such as Bearspace, Arch Gallery and APT, as well as the opportunity to visit late-night openings and tours such as those organised by the Deptford Art Map.

But it's festival time that I really love; I like to see art set free into the real world to amuse, surprise and provoke the general public - in particular those who may never consider setting foot inside a gallery.

It's exciting to see ordinary places transformed - those facilities we use every day without a thought, the streets we walk along and the views we observe are transformed by colour, shapes and sound into something brighter and more stimulating. A tedious journey to work may be improved by the sight of an incongruous artwork in an unexpected place - and that particular location may never be the same again in our minds.

Last year the grimy surrounds of the station were brightened by colourful street scenes...

..walls told stories...

...strange items were found abandoned on ledges...

...streets acquired stripes.

I like to think that such interventions and site-specific creations might touch someone's life in an unexpected way - whether simply by making them smile as they walk past, by giving them pause for thought, or even by inspiring them in some way.

This year
it seems we are in for just as much of a treat with Mark Titchner's curation. A bit of bad organisation on my part means that I won't be around to experience the vibe this weekend, but happily Deptford X runs over two weekends, giving me the chance to check out at least some of the shows and events.

Liz Harrison's sound installation of birdsong in the stairwells of Deptford Station promises to be truly magical - a perfect example of the type of thing I love about Deptford X. The thought of birdsong lightening the steps of all those grumpy commuters trudging up to the platforms fills me with a certain degree of emotion. (I'll be the one hanging back trying to work out if that's a thrush or a blackbird.) Apparently Liz's creation, which will be competing for the Deptford X Award, was inspired by reports that the pitch of birdsong is rising in competition with the urban noise levels.

If you have a limited amount of time, I would suggest checking out the Deptford X Award nominees - they are all within a fairly short walking distance of the high street, and you will probably come across quite a lot of the other galleries and installations on the way. Depending on when you visit, you may also come across some of the events or artists in residence, or even the gallery plots, performances taking place within some of the galleries.

Whether you are a regular gallery goer or a total Deptford X virgin, it's certainly worth spending an hour or two finding out what's going on in our vibrant community. And don't forget to check out the more unusual locations such as Johnny's DIY, where you'll be able to see Charlie Pi's 'human figure formed of tools', or the Creek at low tide, where Sue Lawes' 'Creekery' can be seen sticking out of the mud.

Full listings can be found on the Deptford X website - unfortunately no downloadable map as yet, but hopefully that will be available by the start of the festival.

1 comment:

Marmoset said...

I just bumped into the online map on the Deptford X website can be printed off so it will serve as a downloadable map....,-0.024826&spn=0.016638,0.028753&source=embed