Gallery with a drawbridge

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Crystal Palace concert platform

It’s been a while between posts, reader. I know that. However, that little part of south London known as Crystal Palace is back on these pages again. I can’t ignore the place (but I’m not becoming obsessed, I assure you). This time, I’m writing about a weekend’s art exhibition I was part of called ‘Inspired by the Subway’. Regular readers know my artist associations with the place, and during Open House Weekend, I was asked to join in with the¬†display in Crystal Palace Park.

The venue was once a concert platform for open air gigs and shows but thanks to a few leaky design errors, it’s now unused and derelict. On arriving to set up, I was thrilled to see that I had to cross a drawbridge to get in. The whole venue is surrounded by water! It’s known to some as The Rusty Laptop.

people queuing
People form an orderly queue outside.
people queuing
The drawbridge!

To coincide with the exhibition, I created three new works (inspired by the subway, like it says on the tin). These were oil on watercolour paper, with watercolour red added afterwards. Alongside, I showed some of the old favourites too.

Art work showing the Crystal Palace Victorian subway
Subway Friends 1
Art work showing the Crystal Palace V
Subway Friends 2
Art work showing the Crystal Palace V
Subway Friends 3

framed artworks on a wall

backstage area at a concert venue
The backstage area turned into the gallery

people in an art gallery

As well as the art exhibition, other areas of the venue were transformed into a recording studio, a screening room, an immersive piece of sound art and a giant model replica of what the railway, that used the subway, used to look like.

large scale model railwayold photograph of railway workers


Also, to help with the smooth running of the event and to help any lost stragglers in the park, I did some little illustrations of Crystal Palace landmarks to add to their map:

illustrations of Crystal Palacemap of Crystal Palace¬†If you’d like to read more about the design of the venue itself, and see some far better photographs, James Balston has a great post on his blog about the weekend.