RouteMy tour connects several pockets of galleries in the East End with pit stops for food and refreshments, as well as optional extensions to nearby non-profits. To optimise my tour, leave late morning – and on an empty stomach! My itinerary doesn’t take in all galleries along the way, so please feel free to adjust according to your time permits. [Read my full route description below]
My tour connects several pockets of galleries in the East End with pit stops for food and refreshments, as well as optional extensions to nearby non-profits. To optimise my tour, leave late morning – and on an empty stomach! My itinerary doesn’t take in all galleries along the way, so please feel free to adjust according to your time permits.
Let’s start at Union Pacific where up-and-coming Libyan artist Nour Jaouda presents a series of her beautiful, yet distressed textiles that reference the contemporary state of migration and the unravelling and restoration of personal and collective identity. Her work serves as an interesting counterpoint to French-Congolese artist Anthony Ngoya’s work next door at Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix. Ngoya employs everyday objects, ready-mades and even waste to conjure memories of the past and new readings of the world around us.
From Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix, you have two delicious options to fill your belly for the rest of our journey: Duck & Waffle (110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY) or Momlette (8 Cheshire Street E2 6EH). Duck & Waffle is the upscale option and requires reservations, often far in advance. Located on the 40 th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, you’ll get sweeping views of London and the journey before you. The advantage of Momlette is that it is in bustling Spitalfields Market, halfway to our next destination.
The galleries around Herald Street are our next stop. First to Project Native Informant, which celebrates it 10th anniversary with a group show of the gallery’s artists. Their stellar roster includes DIS, Sophia Al-Maria, Flo Brooks, GCC and Juliana Huxtable – artists and collectives who are defining this generation of contemporary art. Just down the road, mother’s tankstation presents a solo installation of Irish film/video artist Myrid Carten, whose carefully constructed moving image works often blur fact and fiction.
If you have time, you might also want to visit Maureen Paley, Herald St, and Rose Easton – all a minute or two walk away. From Herald Street, head north on Cambridge Heath Road where you can get a shot of caffeine at many local cafes such as Beehive (305 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH), which is halfway to our next destination. Our next stop is Nicoletti, which stages a group exhibition that critically unpacks how structures and systems deeply rooted in colonialism have complicated our relationship to the environment. The show features several previous participants in our residencies and programmes at Delfina Foundation such as Candice Lin, Patricia Dominguez and Ali Cherri, who received the Silver Lion in the 2022 Venice Biennale of Art.
Soft Opening exhibits ceramic works by the Japanese-Nigerian artist Narumi Nekpenekpe, which were produced during her residency at Rochester Square in London. The touch of Nekpenekpe’s hand is evident in her colourful figures and objects that are often inspired by pop culture, American cartoons, Japanese anime, and perhaps her own inner child.
My curated tour now jumps to Old Street but before departing this area, consider popping into Annka Kultys Gallery and Sherbet Green, or walking more eastwards to The Approach as well as local non-profits, Auto Italia and The Chisenhale Gallery – both of which are well worth the detour.
Unless you need the exercise, I would travel to our next destination by bike, uber, or the number 55 bus (and then walking up from Old Street). Founded in Beijing, the London branch of Tabula Rasa presents a solo show by Taiwanese artist Musquiqui Chihying stemming from his residency with us at Delfina Foundation in 2021 and artist’s interest in decolonization in relation to Asia. Tabula Rasa shares its space with a bookstore – do pause for a browse.
Our final stop is Victoria Miro. If you want to take the longer but scenic route: walk up and around Regent’s Canal; otherwise, it’s less than ten minutes direct. Victoria Miro has new works by two iconic Black British artists, Isaac Julien and Chris Ofili. Julien’s photographic series complements his film installation that forms part of his highly acclaimed retrospective currently at Tate Britain. Ofili presents a major suite of paintings relating to the seven deadly sins, which will surely captivate audiences during London Gallery Weekend and beyond.
All these artists explore the human condition through different creative strategies and responses to materiality and immateriality, shaped by the diverse contexts in which they work – and we all live.