Thomas Hirschhorn In-Between, installation view, 2015. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Mark Blower.
Art Assassins, The Banquet, 2011
LAWRENCE WEINER, ALL IN DUE COURSE, 2014. Installation view on facade of former Peckham Road Fire Station. Courtesy of Lawrence Weiner (c) ARS, NY and DACS, London 2014. Photos by Andy Keate.
In June 2010, the South London Gallery opened to the public following the second phase of its expansion which was designed by 6a architects. The project transformed a neighbouring derelict house into the new Matsudaira Wing comprising a suite of domestic scale galleries, the Outset Artists’ Flat, a bookshop and café, as well as opening up the Fox Garden and purpose built Clore Studio which provides an inspiring setting for education activities, performances, talks, film screenings and events. The building project received several awards and nominations, including a New London Award, RIBA Award shortlist for 6a architects, and a nomination for the Mies Van Der Rohe Award.
Over the past six years, the gallery has worked with more than 200 artists on a wide range of exhibitions and projects, as well as supporting the professional development and practice of 45 artists through residencies in the Outset Artists’ Flat. Throughout this period the SLG has been committed to presenting new work by early and mid-career artists such as Alice Channer, Rashid Johnson, Gabriel Kuri and Oscar Murillo, as well as by established international figures such as Dara Birnbaum, Thomas Hirschhorn and Lawrence Weiner.
Recognition for the high standard of the gallery's programmes has been demonstrated by a number of awards and nominations. Most recently, these have included Tom White receiving The Sonic Art Award at the British Composer Awards 2015 for Public Address, a sound installation of children's recordings on Southampton Way Estate, and Bonnie Camplin’s performance and installation The Military Industrial Complex being shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2015. Since 2015 the SLG is also a partner of Tate, and exchanges programmes, ideas and skills with Tate and the Plus Tate family of visual arts organisations.
For more than a decade the SLG has been characterised by the depth of its commitment to involving local residents in the life of the gallery, often on a long-term basis, by encouraging thousands of children, young people, and adults to both generate and participate in inspiring creative, social and training activities, both at the gallery and off-site. These include regular workshops and projects with local schools and colleges; the weekly Art Assassins forum for 14-21 year olds; the contemporary art resource REcreativeUK.com for 16-25 years which is shaped by an Editorial Board of young people; the weekly Supersmashers after-school club for looked after children aged 7-12; drop-in Sunday Spot family activities; and artist-led projects on four local housing estates, including ongoing provision of after school and weekend activities at the SLG’s Shop of Possibilities on Sceaux Gardens estate located at the back of the SLG’s main site.
Through these programmes and other activities, the SLG has come to play an important role in the regeneration of Camberwell and Peckham, an area of south-east London with a culturally diverse population, relatively high levels of social and economic exclusion and a vibrant arts scene. The gallery’s work with residents on the neighbouring Sceaux Gardens Housing Estate and three other local housing estates has shown impressive results in terms of social cohesion and community-building, as well as nurturing an interest in contemporary art among participants. Over recent years the gallery’s education programme has been received extensive recognition through award nominations and prizes including the Clore Award for Museum Learning (2010). The SLG was also shortlisted for the Arts & Business Partnership Award, Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project (2012 and 2013), and was one of three projects shortlisted in the ‘Innovation’ category at the London Play Awards. The gallery's creative play programme on local estates was shortlisted for the Playwork in Other Contexts Award at the National Playwork Conference, 2015, and the Inventiveness Award at the London Play Awards, 2014.
2015 marked the next significant phase in the South London Gallery’s growth with the announcement of the gallery's plans to expand into the former Peckham Road Fire Station and the launch of a fundraising campaign to enable its renovation and transformation into a cultural centre which will be an annexe to the SLG’s main site and open to the public in 2018. The Grade II listed building was generously donated to the SLG to respond to the pressing need to expand its programmes, impact and long term sustainability.