Deptford X 2007
Last year Deptford X ran for a month in November, this year it was brought forward to coincide with Deptford Design and the London Design Festival. However this also clashed with Open House Weekend. But as I noticed the fair weather I realised this shorter 4 day event closer to summer was logical. Doing less, but the right things helped even though this years fold out guide was as difficult to comprehend as previous years. Once I had worked out how to process down Deptford High Street without double backing on my route I set off to arrive at the train station for the 16 panels by artist Maggie Higginson and the pupils at Addey and Stanhope. I then headed over to Bearspace SE8 to see '4 emerging artists' stopping to talk with one of the Goldsmiths MA students
Florin Ungureanu and ask about the general mood.
Next I proceeded to Giffin Square to see Desire Lines by Helen Pailing which played to the festivals subheading Intervention with its subtle transformation of the market pergola structure. Red cord had been rigged to created two pagodas so simple and elegant and recalling the creative cleverness the festival has been entwined with since its inception. I turned around toward the Albany and was delighted by the stall showing an assemblage of found objects transformed. I told Leila Galloway who with Wayne Lucas had helped the students of Haberdasher Askes to create the pieces that I had been a former pupil and was now curious about the position of art in its curriculum. I was relieved that she had been very impressed by it. 60 year 10 students had taken pieces from Deptford Market and reworked them as sculpture, the resulting display able to delight the market shoppers.
Onto the Albany itself to 'Dear Nan' - pieces by Sam Jones and Kate Murdoch which again borrowed from the market both materials and a vernacular aesthetic. It was at this point I began to see a departure from the previous years satirical references and an emerging gentle and genuine sense of self acceptance which always accompanies a switch between Moderne and folk whenever this major battle in art flip flops every mini epoch. Off next to the anchor at the end of the high street, an intervention by Katie Gilman back from last year. She had beatifully wrapped the anchor in soft fluffy wool. Could this gesture represent a desire to treat Deptford with more care and attention than it has seen ?
I crossed over the Broadway to Deptford Properly the new cafe gallery to see
Stephen Molyneux whose work located in the small basement allowed my first visit to this charming oasis. People ate delicious cakes and salads from unmatching porcelain plates surrounded by a sense of intelligent sensitivity I havnt seen since Hales gallery cafe before it moved to Shoreditch. This place however is more intimate - more bijou. The actual installation in the basement struck a chord with my feelings that the festival had always been a cabal to enfranchise fellow artists with a private pep talk, a matrix of secret symbols coordinating a takeover of Deptford.