Culture and art lovers rejoice! If you’re heading to London soon, you’re in for an absolute treat. There are world-renowned art galleries to be found on practically every corner, full of amazing iconic pieces to indulge in.
If you’re heading to the east of the city, you’ll be pleased to know you’ll discover a completely different side of London’s art scene. Shoreditch, in particular, is brimming with life and colour from the capital’s best, most exciting emerging artists. The streets are even adorned with stunning work to get lost in.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite art galleries in Shoreditch to help get you inspired, and they’re all within close distance of our fabulous accommodation near Brewery Road.
The Brewery Chiswell Street hotel underwent an award-winning transformation from historic brewery to handsome five-star hotel. Faithful to its past as Whitbread & Co’s erstwhile base, it’s also every inch the contemporary, connected hotel you’d expect in such a central City of London setting. A renowned modern British restaurant and beautifully restored public house complete the picture, with the cultural attractions of the Barbican Centre just around the corner. We also believe that loyalty should be rewarded, so check out our amazing hotel rewards program here.
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)
This institute is devoted to expanding cultural histories, in order to protect the legacies of British artists of mainly Black or Asian descent and help marginalised artistic societies gain the appreciation they deserve. It was contributory in the early careers of famous modern artists such as Yinka Shonibare MBE, Steve McQueen, Idris Khan and Sonia Boyce. It also holds the Stuart Hall Library, titled after the pioneering scholar who established the organisation back in 1994. As well as contributing resources for researchers, artists and cultural generators, Inviva also displays temporary exhibitions in its ground floor space and artist residencies, imbedded in research carried out in the library.
Pure Evil is an artist who has toured and exhibited throughout the world since the 1990s. He operated as a designer for a short while for Anarchic Adjustment, a famous streetwear clothing brand in California while also becoming immersed in the electronic music scene in San Francisco. This drove him to become a recording artist signed to a label in Germany. The numerous influences that Pure Evil has through his work guided him to set up a location run by and for street artists. As well as highlighting the best street art, the studio also hosts workshops, film nights and live music sessions.
Rich Mix allows creativity in all its magnificent forms – live music, theatre, poetry, film, art, design and drawing, so it’s a little distinct from the other places on the list, but the charity behind the cross-media arts centre, The Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, has a pretty inspiring goal. And that’s to offer the public space to discover more about the creative offerings of people from various migrant populations. Since taking over the former clothing factory on Bethnal Green Road, Rich Mix has put on many free exhibitions, screenings and concerts.
Maureen Paley transferred to the area long before it became the art dream that it is now. They are one of the genuine pioneers of East End art and artists and serve such artists such as Rebecca Warren, Gillian Wearing and Paul Noble. As well as curating shows which involved the works of the Chapman Brothers, Wolfgang Tillmans, Steven Pippin and Georgina Starr.
According to Richard Churchill and Graham McCallum (the Kemistry founders), the studio’s purpose has forever been to bring accessible design to current audiences. So it’s reasonably no wonder that they’ve grown into one of London’s most compelling artistic venues. In its decade-long life, Kemistry has had a big deal in the triumph of leading British artists such as James Joyce and Daniel Eatock, while global cooperatives like Experimental Jetset have also decided to show here.
As one of the pioneering studios to set up shop in Shoreditch at the start of the new millennium, Kate MacGarry has been at the fore of emerging talent since its initial conception on Redchurch Street, before proceeding to the present home just down the street. The gallery serves a number of artists who operate in a mixture of mediums, including the much-celebrated video artist Ben Rivers, as well as the performance fine art duo Chicks on Speed.
Victoria Miro is recognised for celebrating new artists from America, Europe and Asia as well as sustaining amazing homegrown London talent. The large space is set across two floors, and the gallery is particularly unique as it has its own garden. The studio represents established installation artist Doug Aitken as well as more modern artists including Conrad Shawcross and Alice Neel. They also serve two Turner Prize-winning artists – Chris Ofili and Grayson Perry. The original Victoria Miro Gallery is established in Mayfair, but their associate branch near Old Street is unquestionably deserving of a visit.
Directly next door to Victoria Miro is this treasure of a gallery. Established by art biographer and collector Ziba Ardalan in 2007 this not for profit corporation is run for the public and the entry is free. They have been accountable for introducing global artists to the London art scene and starting the careers of Yang Fudong, Charles Avery and Michael Borremans. They operate four thought-provoking and compelling shows each year as well as taking part in diverse projects and giving display possibilities to new art graduates.
In spite of their best efforts not to categorise the work they show, StolenSpace has quite a name for showcasing the best street art in the city. This unique artist-run area lies in the famous Truman Brewery building on Osborn Street and has a history of entertaining energetic and high-profile programs. Over the years, the likes of Shepherd Fairey, D*Face and David Bray have all exhibited here at some time.
If you’re keen to catch a glimpse of any (or all!) of these galleries in Shoreditch, make sure you arrange accommodation near Brewery Road soon. After all, the holiday season brings flocks of tourists to the city.