Tag Archives: Beaconsfield

Foam Talent – Shaping the Future of Contemporary Photography – exhibition at Beaconsfield

Foam Talent is the best exhibition we’ve seen at Beaconsfield and on our visit, it was also the busiest we’ve seen the gallery. It’s possible some of those in attendance came looking for Newport Street Gallery and found it closed (they’re currently ‘all mouths on nozzle’ to set up their Jeff Koons exhibition), but they seemed to be enjoying Beaconsfield all the same.

Detail from photo by Tom Callemin

Detail from photo by Belgium’s Tom Callemin

Foam Fotografiemuseum is Amsterdam’s leading photography museum. Every year they do a talent call, receiving entries from all around the world, and this exhibition comprises over 100 photos from their 21 favourite entrants, all aged under 35.

detail of photo by Danila Tkachenko

detail of photo by Russia’s Danila Tkachenko

This is a photo of some bubblegum, believe it or not:

detail from photo by Marton Perlaki

detail from photo by Hungary’s Marton Perlaki

The only Brit in the 21 is Dominic Hawgood, whose photos were inspired by healings and exorcisms in African churches in London (quite likely on or just off the Old Kent Road):

from Under The Influence by Dominic Hawgood

from Under The Influence by Dominic Hawgood

from Under The Influence by Dominic Hawgood

from Under The Influence by Dominic Hawgood

Foam Talent runs until May 22nd 2016, Wednesday–Sunday 11am–5pm, at Beaconsfield, 22 Newport Street, Vauxhall, London, SE11 6AY. Be sure to sample some delicious cake from Ragged Canteen while you’re there.

Apologies to any photographer who didn’t want an iPhone photo of their work online – get in touch if you’d like it taken down.

Newport Street Gallery

Those of you who follow us closely on Twitter will know that our invite to the opening of Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery (NSG) got lost in the post despite months of blatant solicitation. Nonetheless, we picked ourselves up and dragged ourselves along on the first day it was open to the public.

Newport Street Gallery - kenningtonrunoff.com

NSG is a great building – lighter and more inviting than the Saatchi Gallery to which it has been compared (both having been built by rich people to show their huge collections of contemporary art).

Newport Street Gallery staircase - kenningtonrunoff.om

Well done to Damien who has certainly not skimped on this, and architects Caruso St John who were also behind the revamp of Tate Britain. The Guardian recently published an interesting article about the building and NSG’s issues with community outreach.

people at John Hoyland's Power Stations at Newport Street Gallery - kenningtonrunoff.om

The first exhibition is Power Stations by the late John Hoyland, whose huge, colourful but foreboding canvasses suit the space so well that it’s hard to imagine how smaller works will fare.

John Hoyland's Power Stations at Newport Street Gallery under skylights - kenningtonrunoff.om

If you don’t like Hoyland’s stuff then you have a long wait for something else – this exhibition runs until April of next year.

John Hoyland's Power Stations at Newport Street Gallery with sloping roof - kenningtonrunoff.om

Damien’s involvement in NSG is relatively inconspicuous until you enter the shop where there are eye-wateringly expensive skulls and jewellery galore. Newport Street Gallery’s shop is not the much-needed replacement for Kennington Bookshop as a place to buy a present a tenner – more like ten grand.

Newport Street Gallery skulls in the shop - kenningtonrunoff.om

The first day crowd was large and varied, and Beaconsfield, further down Newport Street, was the busiest we’ve ever seen it. We have no doubt NSG’s arrival will spark a new level of boom for the once-neglected area we call North West Kennington, others call Lambeth, and, in a blatant land grab of which we would have been proud, Vauxhall’s developers have decided is called Vauxhall. We’ll see about that:

Correction to Vauxhall sign outside Beaconsfield - kenningtonrunoff.com

The first floor of NSG is taken up by a restaurant named Pharmacy 2, a sequel to Damien’s Notting Hill restaurant that was open from 1998 to 2003. Whatever next – Fat Les reforming to play the opening party? Just as long as we’re invited that’s fine by us – and we mean now, not next year when Pharmacy 2 finally opens to the public. Altogether now: “Where on earth are you from?/We’re from Kennington”.

The Top Ten Best Lunch Spots in Kennington – no. 2 – The Ragged Canteen at Beaconsfield

The Ragged Kitchen - kenningtonrunoff.com

Positives: There are worse environments in which to have your lunch than a contemporary art gallery located in the great building that is the former Lambeth Ragged School. The Ragged Canteen offer tasty vegetarian soups, sandwiches and meals on weekday lunchtimes, all day brunch on Saturday, and cakes and drinks whenever the gallery is open (11am to 5pm Wednesday to Saturday).

Ragged Canteen French Toast - kenningtonrunoff.com

French Toast at Ragged Canteen Saturday brunch

Also, they’ve recently started to hold occasional fundraising dinners in the evenings.

Beaconsfield Gallery with new, less foreboding glass door

Beaconsfield Gallery with new, more welcoming entrance

Negatives: They’re not open on Sundays, Mondays or Tuesdays because Beaconsfield is closed on those days. It gets busy on weekday lunchtimes, especially since Newport Street Gallery has opened up the road, and sometimes they run out of main courses so get there early. They are big fans of polenta – if you don’t like polenta, your options will be limited, but see how good they make it look.

Ragged Canteen spring vegetable polenta cake with cheese and two salads

Ragged Canteen spring vegetable polenta cake with cheese and two salads

Hygiene rating: 4 out of 5

Address: 22 Newport Street, London SE11 6AY

Website

Come back next Sunday to see what’s at no. 1.

Ragged Canteen Pop Up Evening Dinners

The Arts Council snatched away Beaconsfield’s funding earlier this year, which, though a sorry day for artists looking to further their creative practice in a former ragged school, has also had a couple of happy by-products. Firstly, Beaconsfield have opened up their windows to the world quite literally, hacking away big holes in their forbidding-looking wall at the front, and replacing them with glass, presumably to entice in new patrons. Secondly, their excellent in-house vegetarian café the Ragged Canteen has started a series of evening events to raise money.

The Ragged Canteen sign and canapes - kenningtonrunoff.com

We attended the first of the Ragged Canteen’s dinners, and it was a charming evening all round. Excellent value at only £15 for three courses, plus canapés and a drink on arrival – and a musical interlude (pictured below). They have increased the price to £17 a head now, but this still seems very reasonable to us.

The Ragged Canteen musical entertainment - kenningtonrunoff.com

Food runs very much according to the Ragged Canteen’s formula of homely vegetarian cooking with a kick to it. The spiced flatbreads (pictured) were the winner of the evening.

The Ragged Canteen flatbread in a bag - kenningtonrunoff.com

The first event sold out, so get in quick before the next, coming up this Thursday, goes the same way – tickets here.

Supper Club Frenzy

It’s a supper club bonanza in Kennington this week, with two separate pop-up dinner events taking place mere streets away from each other in North West Kennington.

On Thursday August 27th, The Ragged Canteen are hosting their inaugural dinner event, at an extremely reasonable price of three courses for £15 (tickets here). Expect robust, imaginative vegetarian fare, and some ‘small surprises’. We’re not in on the secret of what the unexpected element of the evening might be – as long as it’s not an appearance from local resident Peter Stringfellow, who we saw being turned away rather incongruously from the Tea House Theatre on Sunday (it was a rainy afternoon and there wasn’t space for his Bugaboo alongside all the others). If you book, you’ll be sure of a table at The Ragged Canteen.

Beaconsfield, home of The Ragged Canteen

Beaconsfield, home of The Ragged Canteen

On August 28th and 29th, Roots and Shoots are bringing back their Magpie Kitchen, with a menu that’s an interesting cocktail of Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean influences. The Roots and Shoots garden should be looking particularly verdant after Kennington’s recent deluges, too.

Roots & Shoots

Roots and Shoots

Brunswick House have also been hosting their own supper clubs in recent months, but they are rather more elite affairs. For restaurant staff, they run the Sinning on Sundays dinners, with entrance strictly restricted to trade only, and at the other end of the spectrum was this summer’s Brunswick House Ball (dress code: Black Tie with a Napoleonic Twist), for those who like their supper clubs with a hefty side order of Georgian grandeur.

Brunswick House restaurant - kenningtonrunoff.com

Brunswick House restaurant

The Foundry

Did you know that Kennington is home to a new, RIBA award winning centre for human rights and social justice organisations?

The Foundry is on Oval Way, next to the gasworks:

The Foundry exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

The interior is particularly impressive:

The Foundry stairs - kenningtonrunoff.com The Foundry interior - kenningtonrunoff.com.JPG

Beaconsfield are curating a selection of relevant art in the public spaces of The Foundry over the coming year. The current exhibition is called On The Wire, after the Leonard Cohen song Bird On The Wire, or perhaps the Kennington-based concert promoters of the same name, and runs until Friday.

This was our favourite from it – Mathew Gibson’s Checkpoint, with its echoes of MC Escher:

Mathew Gibson - Checkpoint - kenningtonrunoff.com

Most of the art is for sale, priced between £700 + VAT and £3000 + VAT.

The Foundry is open to the public on weekdays between 9am and 5pm, and is located at 17 Oval Way, SE11 5RR.

Sean Dower at Beaconsfield

If you’re heading down to The Ragged Canteen at Beaconsfield Gallery for lunch or brunch, the current exhibition under the gallery’s railway arch is worth a look too – visual artist and musician Sean Dower has a bunch of musical instruments apparently playing themselves, in a rather spooky fashion:

Sean Dower at Beaconsfield Gallery - kenningtonrunoff.com

It’s open to the public Wednesday–Saturday, 11am–5pm, and runs until February 28th. As for The Ragged Canteen, they serve drinks and cakes whenever the gallery’s open, plus lunch Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunchtimes, and all-day brunch on Saturdays.

brunch at The Ragged Canteen

The Ragged Kitchen - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Ragged Canteen at Beaconsfield Art Gallery featured in our Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington list last year for their delicious vegetarian lunches. Now they’ve become the latest Kennington venue to offer all-day brunch on a Saturday, joining The Tea House Theatre, Counter, and Toulouse Lautrec (The Duchy Arms don’t start theirs till 12.30pm, while the Tommyfield and Brunswick House only do breakfast in the mornings).

Here’s the menu from a couple of weeks back:

The Ragged Canteen Saturday brunch menu - kenningtonrunoff.com

We had a green goddess pesto and roasted vegetable toastie, and this warm winter vegetable minestrone (actually more of a stew than a soup) with spelt bread, which is a typical Ragged Canteen kind of dish:

The Ragged Canteen - winter vegetable minestrone with spelt bread - kenningtonrunoff.com

If you want Eggs Benedict or buttermilk pancakes, this is not the place for you, but if you’re in the mood for something hearty and vegetarian, you won’t do better than the Ragged Canteen. Plus the service is friendly, you’ll have no problem getting a table, and the building is great.

our West and North West Kennington predictions for 2015

2015 will put North West Kennington on the map. This is the area south of Westminster Bridge Road and west of Kennington Road, and it is arguably the least visited, least known part of central London, despite some lovely buildings and smaller parks, Lambeth Palace, and Beaconsfield. Plus it’s yards from Parliament and it has the Thames running down one side.

Old Paradise Gardens, North West Kennington

Old Paradise Gardens, North West Kennington

2014 was already a big year for North West Kennington with tonnes of new riverside developments plus the new look Duchy Arms. 2015 will be even bigger thanks to the opening (finally) of Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery. The gallery will feature works from Damien’s collection including artists such as Francis Bacon, Banksy, Tracey Emin, Jeff Koons, Sarah Lucas and Pablo Picasso. Entry will be free of charge. More info here.

Newport Street Gallery

Under the leadership of the entrepreneurial Justin Welby, surely this will be the year that Lambeth Palace opens to the public all year round.

West Kennington (previously known as Vauxhall) will also experience another year of change and growth. We are cautiously optimistic about the plans for the gyratory. New housing developments will lead to more scenes of sheikhs looking bemused as clubbers pass them on the way home.

Watch out Russell Norman – Counter – a new restaurant in the arches near Vauxhall station – will open soon and looks set to be a new entry in our Best Restaurants in Kennington list.

Come back tomorrow for our central Kennington predictions for 2015.

Kennington apocalypse at Beaconsfield: We Are History by John Timberlake

We love Kennington, we love big art, and we love the apocalypse, so the current show at Beaconsfield Art Gallery could almost have been designed with us in mind. We Are History by John Timberlake features a giant painting of West Kennington in three parts, with a mushroom cloud behind. “The perspectival position suggests that the target may have been High Wycombe”. Damn it, we were thinking Clapham.

You are encouraged to take photos and the installation really comes alive when you take photos of people walking in between the three parts. We’ve not done that because we wanted to preserve our anonymity, but you should:

John Timberlake - We Are History at Beaconsfield Gallery - kenningtonrunoff.com

The show is open until August 30th, Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm. Get along on Wednesday. Thursday or Friday lunchtime and you can sample the wonderful food of the Ragged Canteen, the third best restaurant in Kennington.