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Bold Tendencies

18 June 2015 Jonathan Velardi

Bold Tendencies has transformed a multi-story car park in Peckham with a summer programme of art, music, theatre, film, food and drink. London Calling headed down there to see what’s in store for the 2015 Summer Programme.


Few boroughs in the capital can call a disused car park a cultural showcase, least not one of the reasons for the rise of young creatives and professionals migrating South across the river on the East London Overground in recent years. Peckham’s growth in popularity has arguably been down to the annual contemporary art intervention that has landed atop the multi-storey car park a few steps from Peckham Rye Station between June and September since 2007. Returning for its ninth instalment, Bold Tendencies presents a diverse summer programme of public art produced by Hannah Barry Gallery in conjunction with an enterprising and resourceful group of curators who bring events and cuisine to the open-air site, which make for a unique and successful cultural recipe set against the unbroken backdrop of London’s skyline.

This summer, the non-profit organisation hosts a celebrated British sculptor, a London-based art collective and a multi-disciplinary design platform from Amsterdam as part of its site-specific art commissions. When scaling to the top of the car park, visitors are welcomed by a meandering floor installation by artist Richard Wentworth, a lead figure in the New British Sculpture movement from the late Seventies. Continuing his practice of subverting perceptions of everyday objects and imagery, Wentworth paints a fluid abstract design executed in aluminium rich paint that covers the entire roof space. The work, titled ‘Agora’ – from the Ancient Greek term for an assembly space – explores the relationship between physical space and social reality. The supersize scribble will reflect the changing weather conditions throughout the summer season as well as encourage exploration from visitors along its metallic trail across the roof’s expanse. Despite its flatness, the imprinted intervention is sculptural in all but appearance: guiding the eye through both the immediate space, leading out to London’s developing horizon. While Wentworth’s Agora deals with notions of urbanism on a large scale, London-based art collective AIRBNB Pavilion look to domesticity and interior public spaces with an installation on Level 8 of the multi-storey car park. Gentrification of the city, and in particular to Peckham, is the inspiration behind the domestic tableaux of design-conscious living quarters, juxtaposed within the barren concrete environment. Further architectural intervention is delivered by the Amsterdam design collective Metahaven. In collaboration with musician Laurel Halo’s soundscape, an expandable structure of wooden panels contribute to a sensory atmosphere housing complex patterned garments produced by the collective, which will incorporate three successive collections over the course of the summer opening.

Myles Donaldson will be running the ever popular al fresco kitchen, Frank’s Café, which boasts an evolving menu of seasonal produce served in the evenings on weekdays and all day on weekends. The site also remains the venue of the Derek Jarman Garden – a previous commission from 2013 – in homage to the late artist and film-maker’s original landscaped garden at his home, Prospect Cottage, on the Kent headland of Dungeness. The idyllic garden incorporates desert-style plant beds similar to those that thrive on the unique Dungeness coastline.

The online radio station You and Music Radio, who will broadcast talent from the musical community in both Peckham and South London, will join the programme of onsite live music and performance throughout the summer.

Bold Tendencies is open between Tuesday and Sunday throughout the summer and runs until 27th September 2015 at Peckham multi-storey car park. Find out more here.

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