ARTISTS AND CREATIVES! – PACK YOUR TRUNK FOR THE HOTEL ELEPHANT!
Hotel Elephant and Southwark Council are delighted to announce the launch of Spare Street – a new street dedicated to creative enterprise.
Spare Street is a new street at the Elephant and Castle that is now home to 8,750 sqft of workspace and a public space across five railways arches. Hotel Elephant will create workspace for between 80 and 100 emerging artists and creative entrepreneurs including recent graduates, local micro businesses and growing creative businesses.
Spare Street has been named by Hotel Elephant after the artist Austin Osman Spare who lived, worked and exhibited in the area from the early 1900s until his death in 1956. Hotel Elephant has secured funding for the project from Mayor of London through the London Regeneration Fund and from Southwark Council’s Arts and Culture Grant fund.
The move is also the first phase of proposals to refurbish a series of under-used railway arches as part of a ‘low line’ project in Southwark. Loosely based on the famous ‘High Line’ project in New York, the aim of the council is to work with Network Rail to create a new pedestrian route down from the more tourist spots in Borough and Bankside into the heart of the borough, following the line of railway arches.
Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration and new homes Cllr Mark Williams said: “We want to unlock hundreds of railway arches in Southwark with new shops, cafes, artist studios and cultural spaces with new high quality public realm for our residents and visitors to enjoy.
“Spare Street is the first section of the ‘Low Line’ that we have completed by working with Network Rail and Hotel Elephant, and we will continue this work across Walworth, The Elephant, Bankside, Bermondsey and Peckham to make the Low Line a reality across our borough.
“Our work with Hotel Elephant has not only kick started this vision, but has also expanded provision of affordable studio and performance spaces in Southwark.”
Spare Street sees Hotel Elephant establishing the first permanent creative enterprise hub in the Elephant and Castle. Reuben Powell, director of Hotel Elephant, said: “Hotel Elephant’s permanent home enables us to build on the success of our previous projects.
“Our mission is to establish Spare Street as a destination which celebrates and encourages Creative Enterprise and Artistic production in Southwark. “A key part of this was Hotel Elephant naming this new street – which quite literally puts it on the map!”
In the long term the refurbished arches will provide opportunities for new and existing businesses, creating employment and a wider retail, leisure and cultural offer.
The council and Network Rail will be working very closely with current tenants to develop the idea further and encourage their involvement in the process, with the next phase expected to look at the arches along Elephant Road.
Spare Street opens to the public with a special event on Friday 1 July 2016. (Source: Southwark council press release)
For the first time in over 350 years, two of Gerrit Dou’s (1613-1675) finest paintings Woman playing a Clavichord and Lady Playing a Virginal, both created in c.1665, will be displayed together at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Dou in Harmony (5 July – 6 November), the latest instalment in the Making Discoveries series, will highlight how the Dutch Master interpreted the same subject but with varying changes to its mood and meaning.
The two works were first shown together in Leiden in 1665, in an exhibition organised by Dou’s patron Johan de Bye; possibly the first ever monographic exhibition of a living artist. While Dulwich’s own Woman Playing a Clavichord presents a soft and quiet scene,Young Lady Playing the Virginal depicts a much more hedonistic one, focusing on the pleasures of life. Both, however, communicate Dou’s meticulous working style and mastery of composition to draw the viewer’s eye into the picture. Displayed together, the intimacy and relationship between viewer and sitter will be revealed and examined.
Evoking the mood of Dou’s 17th Century works, the display will be complemented by a contemporary sound installation in the Mausoleum, composed and played on the viola da gamba by Liam Byrne (The Guildhall School, London). Taking its cue from 17th century musical practice, this modern piece aims to evoke the mood of Dou’s paintings, inspiring reflection and contemplation on its themes.
Following on from Rubens’ Ghost and I am Van Dyck, Dou in Harmony is the latest display in the Making Discoveries: Dutch and Flemish Masterpieces series, which showcases four major artists from the Gallery’s collection: Van Dyck, Rubens, Dou and Rembrandt. Bringing together recent historical and scientific research, the series reveals intriguing discoveries and celebrates the creative processes of these Dutch and Flemish masters. Each display also draws connections with guest works from other institutions and private collections that have never been seen together before.
The final display in the series is Am I Rembrandt? (8 November 2016 – 5 March 2017), which will focus on the National Trust’s recently re-attributed Self-portrait, wearing a White Feathered Bonnet, 1635, taking this as a starting point to examine the Gallery’s own works by the master.
The Making Discoveries series is curated by Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator Dr Xavier Bray, with support from Assistant Curator Helen Hillyard. Lenders include the National Portrait Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, the National Trust as well as a number of private lenders.
The research for Making Discoveries has been achieved through the soon to be published catalogue for the Dutch and Flemish collection at Dulwich Picture Gallery. It is the first comprehensive catalogue covering this part of the collection and includes over 220 paintings, detailing their provenance and historical significance. It will be available to buy online and from the Gallery shop from the beginning of August 2016. (Source: Dulwich Picture Gallery press release)