With very little fanfare and seemingly from out of nowhere Blackheath has acquired a new contemporary art gallery. A pop up shop in what was India Jane and is soon to become a Gail’s Bakery the Blackheath Contemporary Art Gallery should be with us until some time in September.
Whilst not for one moment claiming to be terribly artistic (though one Radical is something of a poet when the moment requires it) we think this is a fantastic development on a number of levels. Quite literally – the Gallery is split across three floors.
The pop up movement is a really dynamic positive one that looks to use empty spaces for temporary uses, such as start up shops, while the long term use is sorted. It gives opportunities for new ventures at the same time as reducing the chances of blight due to properties being empty. And, where the temporary use is, as in this case, an innovative one, it also benefits existing firms by increasing footfall in the area.
And so, where once there was an empty shell waiting to be turned in to a bakery we now have the opportunity to buy great art, much of it by local artists. Indeed, Joanne who runs the Gallery as well as one in Dulwich is very keen to hear from more local artists. And the local connection doesn’t end there; the framing is being done by Framing on the Heath.
The Conservatoire is working with the Gallery – its second innovative collaboration of the summer following as it does the OnBlackheath beach. We understand there are plans to hold events at the Gallery which sounds excellent as it really is a great space. Speaking of which, Joanne mentioned that if there were local groups who might want to make use of the space they should get in touch. For once we probably won’t put forward our idea of a beer festival!
Gail’s Bakery – which will eventually trade from the shop – deserves credit for backing the idea, which we understand it has done before in other locations. This must be what is meant by an artisan bakery!