The Regent’s Canal, 21st July

The Regent’s Canal is the focus of this week’s run with its eastern route across London hugging the upper curve of Regent’s Park before heading down to the Thames near Canary Wharf. In the process of the journey this attractive waterway seeks out warehouses and regenerated land from docks and old gasworks, that have now become desirable and where a number of galleries are located. Overhead, the bridges offer exit routes as though they were stations on a tube line.

However, It is easy to gloss over some of the problems of actually getting to the canal. Whilst St Jame’s, Green and Hyde Park offer a good start, there is no avoiding the dusty streets off Edgware Road. Fortunately I am met halfway by an extension to the canal which has generously offered itself in my direction, a region called the Paddington Basin. Of course, I have done this route many times now and can no longer feign any of the surprise I once felt when I pieced it together for the first time. On the tow path Lisson Grove appears as a departure point for its eponymous Gallery and then, towards the east, Wharf Road. With a stretch of water running down the backs of its warehouses, it provides the location for Victoria Miro Gallery.

Stuart Shave Modern Art, the next destination, belongs to another class of galleries comprising those that can be reached surprisingly easily from the canal but seem to be nowhere near it. In a similar sense, all the Mayfair galleries lie at a close but unlikely proximity to the three Parks, whence the attraction of a green and blue ring-route giving easy access to a whole cluster of galleries that appear at first sight to be surrounded only by roads, but are a stone’s throw from this continuous oasis. To the side of an attractive square, with attendant church sits the gallery in question enjoying not just the kudos of the location but also of having won Best Exhibitor prize at this year’s Frieze show.

Inside, Phillip Lai has displayed works made from plastic and rubber objects. A blue washing up bowl is screwed vertically to the wall and at the bottom is some dried rice whose simple crescent shape looks like a smile drawn by the deft hand of a cartoonist, animating it, at least for my imagination, into a face. Then a large green 8×4 wooden board comes under scrutiny. Some light bulbs in white plastic holders are screwed to it, some to the surface whilst others appear to protrude from within, and each bearing drips and brush marks of the green paint coating the board, a suggestion that perhaps this piece has some previous and strange existence, as a relic even from an old fairground. With these evocations fresh in mind, the canal moves onwards to Limehouse, silently and pensively before coming out at the Thames.

On display too, are images below from this year’s Goldsmiths MFA fine art degree show.

291
Spitfire Works on Penfold Street close to the Regents Canal. This Art Deco classic was home to a manufacturer of tyres for WW2 aircraft including the eponymous Spitfire. Palmer Tyre Company.

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Gallery Runner entered into the spirit of this Stuart Cumberland piece at The Approach Gallery. Excellent show.

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Looking out from Ben Pimlott Building of Goldsmiths College designed by Alsop and Partners. Will Alsop had previously produced a set of squiggle drawings inspired by the same location of New Cross.

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Used the Regents Canal to access all the galleries today, first Lisson Gallery, then Stuart Shave Modern Art and finally The Approach Gallery before exiting at Limehouse Basin and heading back to Peckham.

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Dan Graham’s pavilion at Lisson Gallery with some classic video pieces including CCTV of a fox locked in the national gallery (London) at night.

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Great landscape piece by Roel van Putten at Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art.

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This piece at Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art by Gui Ponde really is very good. Some strange detached head juxtaposed with government identification papers as if that might make the taxonomic process any easier!

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Gallery Runner spotted this mini gallery in the goldsmiths MA Fine Art degree show. As a past student I am familiar with the conversion of the swimming pool into art studios whilst the old poolside changing rooms are now used for storage. It appears one of these has become a shrine to BANK of MOT International. Artists of this collective included Simon Bedwell, John Russell and Milly Thompson. Here can be seen altered (improved) gallery press releases dating back to their seminal late 90’s period.

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Phillip Lai at Stuart Shave Modern Art using his customary rubber materials and juxtaposed bright colours.

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