great places to visit off the beaten path.
Located just south of Regents Canal, in a fairly industrial part of the East End is this still relatively unknown street that for much of the last 5-10 years was arguably the true centre of London’s local art scene. Well known artists such as Damien Hirst
and Tracy Emin could be found here before their rise to fame. However, rising rents and the challenge of getting art collectors to come to the East End led to a number of the successful (or commercial depending on one’s viewpoint) galleries leaving – many initially to Fitzrovia. However, those that remain still provide a great reason to visit, particularly for those interested in emerging art, not to mention the ‘free art’ visitors can take home with them on ‘Free Art Friday’ (see below). In addition, new entrants are still appearing bringing a more international feel and hopefully Vyner Street will reemerge stronger in the future and preserve its place of significance in London’s art scene.
The busiest night on the street is usually the 1st Thursday of the month as all galleries participate in the first Thursday free art walk program. Otherwise visit Thursday – Sunday afternoons. At other times it is mostly closed. Several of the notable galleries and businesses along Vyner Street are:
DegreeArt: 12a Vyner St. http://www.degreeart.com/ An online art store selling globally, with an artist’s gallery onsite.
Hada Contemporary: 21 Vyner St. http://www.hadacontemporary.com Wed-Fri 11-6, Sat-Sun 12-4. The first ‘East Asian’ art gallery on Vyner St.
Vyner Street Gallery: 23 Vyner St. http://www.vynerstreetgallery.co.uk/ This gallery hires out its exhibition space which results in new exhibitions on a regular basis.
Cultivate: Corner Vyner & Mowlem St. http://www.cultivatevynerstreet.com/ Thu-Sun 11:30-6pm. An artist-run gallery with numerous exhibitions, and is located at the corner of Vyner St and Mowlem St. They maintain a wordpress blog ( http://cultivatevynerstreet.wordpress.com/ ) which is a
great news source for current and upcoming shows. Cultivate also supports ‘Free Art Friday’ (next one is this upcoming Friday 15th Feb) where visitors can take one free piece of art donated by the artists.
Wilkinson Gallery: 50-58 Vyner St. http://www.wilkinsongallery.com/ Wed-Sat 11-6, Sun 12-6. Representing numerous artists with exhibitions changing every few months.
Closest Tube: Bethnal Green (closer rail: Cambridge Heath)