Monday, September 27, 2010

Deptford X

Checked out some of Deptford X at the weekend, now self-styled as 'London's foremost contemporary visual arts festival'. There's certainly lots of interesting work and it is much more ambitious than just local artists displaying their wares to the community.

As well as gallery spaces, there's work on display in shop windows. Chrissie Stewart is showcasing her work in Gimcrack, that intriguing bric-a-brac shop at the bottom of Tanners Hill (opposite the Deptford Deli if you fancy coffee with your art, and let's face it, who doesn't?).

Feels like a good setting for her work which is assembled from bits of dolls and the kind of found objects to be discovered in that shop.

The strongest work I've seen so far was at St Pauls House (125 Deptford High Street) where Wayne Lucas and Julia Bardsley have created 'Fami-liar', a disturbing space of hair, rubber, body fluids, underwear and brown paper. I think this is only open at weekends, check the website for details.

It put me in mind of Louise Bourgeois or even COUM Transmissions, who once shocked the world with a display of hair, blood and tampons at the ICA in the far-off days (1976) when art could still shock enough to excite the tabloids

In the stairwells of Deptford Train Station Liz Harrison has put in place a sound installation of bird song, not as sweet and tranquil as it sounds. There's something urgent and piercing about the sound, reflecting her take on recent research that suggest that birdsong in urban areas is rising in pitch as birds compete with city noise to be heard.

Lot's more to see, Deptford X runs until 3 October, full details at the Deptford X website.

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