Open House London: By Beck Road 19 preview

The late Ray Walker’s Regal Streak (1969) is one of the pieces on show at By Beck Road 19. Picture:

The late Ray Walkers Regal Streak (1969) is one of the pieces on show at By Beck Road 19. Picture: Courtesy of the Artists Estate. - Credit: Archant

When curators Alastair Carruthers and Sandhini Poddar submitted their proposal for an Open House event, they had a respectable 10 artists in tow. An open call was put out – although they didn’t expect much of a response – and now their By Beck Road 19 exhibition includes a line-up that is 42 artists strong.

The event offers free public access to all kinds of interesting spaces on this 167-metre stretch of road close to Broadway Market. By Beck Road 19 will allow a glimpse of both architecture dating back to 1890 and art made over the last 45 years.

Taking place this Saturday and Sunday (from 10am to 6pm), the exhibition will cover a sprawling 18 residential spaces, a corner bar, a railway arch studio, under a bridge and on the pavements. Visitors can expect to browse everything from drawings to sculptures and paintings to 16mm films in what is one of the most eye-catching events of this year's Open House programme.

"By Beck Road 19 is resounding proof that art is an irresistible, resilient and constant human need," say Carruthers and Poddar.

Rory Olcayto, Director of Open House London, expects it to be a warm and social gathering. "The By Beck Road 19 event, which showcases art created on the street down the ages (much of it by significant artists), in essence turns their street and homes into public art galleries," he says.

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"This kind of gesture inspires a kind of 'sociality' - where people, no matter how well known to each other, do things together, willingly. Given the ugly politics that form the backdrop to our lives today, this endeavour feels vital, kind [and] the opposite of 'NO'…"

Olcayto's inclusive sentiment is echoed by Dr Kathryn Lovering, Chair of the Association of Beck Road Residents: "It is amazing and heart-warming to see so many people work together and give freely their time, skills and interests to create a unique art, heritage and social event in Beck Road."

By Beck Road 19 takes place on Saturday and Sunday (Sept 21 and 22) between 10am and 6pm (last entry is 5pm). The full Open House London listing is here.

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