South east London’s art scene is diverse, vibrant and unpretentious. From discovering your inner artist to becoming a collector, here are five ways to embrace it…
1 Easels at the ready…
Cowling & Wilcox, originally founded in the 60s near London’s old Billingsgate Market to supply commercial art studios, has grown into a trusted brand for artists looking for top quality supplies. Their huge warehouse and retail shop in Camberwell has everything an artist needs, from charcoal, canvases and easels to sculpting blocks, craft products and designer stationary.
8-12 Orpheus Street SE5 8RR; 020 7703 1342; cowlingandwilcox.com
2 Discover street art
Dulwich Outdoor Gallery is a growing collection of murals painted by some of today’s top street artists, who based their work on Baroque paintings in the permanent collection at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Local expert Ingrid Beazley runs tours of these collections in the summer, but you can always hunt them out for yourself in the streets off Lordship Lane and East Dulwich Road.
3 Visit an art auction
In 2013, Roseberys in West Norwood was shortlisted by the BBC’s Homes & Antiques magazine as Britain’s best auction house, and made art world headlines when they sold a rare Léon Bakst oil painting for £530,000. So where else would the seasoned, or indeed first-time, art buyer hang out? Don’t miss the Modern & Contemporary Prints auction on 21 November, an accessible event for new collectors with affordable, striking pieces by big-name artists – Banksy’s Flying Copper (above) is expected to sell for £1,000-1,500.
70/76 Knights Hill, West Norwood SE27 0JD; 020 8761 2522; roseberys.co.uk
4 Collect local artists
GXGallery in Camberwell represents emerging and mid-career artists, many of whom have local connections, like Ed Gray (pictured below: Adoration at the Lions’ Den: Millwall Matchday). The gallery also founded FloatArt London, an annual exhibition for arts graduates, which takes place from 7-11 October at the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf.
5 Embrace life (drawing)
South London hosts a plethora of life drawing classes. Dulwich Art Group runs various sessions at the Copleston Centre in Peckham (£12), SketchPad Drawing runs classes at Herne Hill’s The Prince Regent on Wednesday evenings (£15) and DoopoDoopo in Forest Hill will run a four-week course starting on 21 October.
See dulwichartgroup.co.uk; sketchpaddrawing.com; doopodoopo.co.uk