"One way to solve the struggle for expression is to seek out some art."
Making a house a home is quite the artistic endeavour. As a form of self-expression it is writ large for all your visitors to see.
But choosing a colour scheme (that isn’t magnolia) and making the most of space requires vision and a creative eye – a process that can be as fulfilling as it is frustrating. You’ll inject individuality into a room that can be as provocative or as beautiful as your own imagination.
Spend an afternoon exploring London’s independent art scene to kick-start your search for the perfect piece. It’s as accessible as it is inspiring.
Nelly Duff – Shoreditch
A pioneer in the street art movement, Nelly Duff was one of the first spaces in the world to exhibit street art. Located in the cultural pocket of Shoreditch, it’s a gallery that embraces rebellion, selling original pieces from street, tattoo and political artists.
On the exposed brick walls are playfully coloured prints at odds with the anarchistic content, but there’s humour too. With pieces named ‘Breakdancing Jesus on Water’, it’s a haunt for the outlandish and the wayward. While Nelly Duff may showcase a pool of established talent, with limited edition prints from the likes of famed street artist Ben Eine, the gallery also takes pride in its affordability, which proves as much a talking point as its roster of notable names.
For more information, visit www.nellyduff.com.
Underdog gallery – London Bridge
Nestled under an old railway arch next to London Bridge, The Underdog is a must-visit if you want contemporary art, street art or outsider art lining your walls from emerging and established artists. There are sunny prints from Japanese artist Takashi Murakam and limited edition prints from Banksy, but if that’s not your thing the gallery can source whatever you like. The Underdog is lauded for what goes on after hours too. You can expect film screenings, spoken word and comedy nights all week.
For more information, visit www.theunderdog.london
GX gallery – Camberwell
Converted from an old bakery, the GX Gallery makes for an inviting hangout spot, but the real reason to visit is to see (and hopefully buy) contemporary abstract figurative work from all over the world. To keep your interest fully piqued and a return stopover well worth it, every month the space presents a different exhibition, its latest being its annual Forty by Forty, where each print measures a nifty 40cm by 40cm.
For more information, visit www.gxgallery.com
Jealous gallery – Shoreditch
Jealous is a fine art screen-print studio and publisher, with galleries located in the heart of Shoreditch and Crouch End. The ground floor, which showcases a series of carefully curated prints, is really just one aspect to this multi-faced space. Behind the scenes is the print studio, epically spanning four floors, with each level dedicated to a stage in the printing production process.
Although the gallery has been known to collaborate with notable names and has ties to large museums such as the V&A, it retains its core independent ethos through affordable art fairs and using its industry connections to provide a vehicle for budding artists.
The gallery also offers a monthly payment instalment option, so now there’s no need to feel guilty for picking up a print or two. One of the highlights of its unique Shoreditch spot is the ‘Jealous Rooftop Mural’ project, which welcomes artists’ submissions for the chance to paint a mural of their work on its roof – the Shoreditch skyline offering a gritty backdrop.
For more information, visit www.jealousgallery.com.
Lazarides Rathbone – Fitzvoria
A visit to Lazarides Rathbone is more than just a place to buy art, it’s an experience. Located in London’s bustling Fitzrovia district, it engulfs you. Showing 8-10 exhibitions a year, the gallery honours each artist’s vision by manipulating the space to mirror the theme of their work. The result? A fully immersive experience that feels somewhat cinematic. Lazarides Rathbone is headed up by Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides, who has a print studio on the Peninsula.
The art on sale is an ode to the avant-garde, showcasing prominent artists who defy categorization with their innovative approach. If you find yourself enamoured with the artwork yet wince at the price of an original, don’t sweat it – affordable high quality copies, alongside a diverse range of other notable artists, can be bought from the Lazarides Editions gallery in Southbank too.
For more information, visit www.lazinc.com.