The first time I explored the galleries taking part in the annual Condo initiative in London, I walked from the Union Pacific gallery in Goulston Street near the Whitechapel Gallery to Herald Street in Bethnal Green, a route that follows the railway lines east and north out of Liverpool Street station and quickly changes from the increased gentrification around Aldgate to what appears to be an ocean of small garages based around the railway arches with armies of mechanics busy in particular on maintaining London’s taxis and keeping them on the road. The route continues along Three Colts Lane, which you might surmise long ago was the location of stables, perhaps to service Liverpool Street railway terminus until gradually the mechanics and garages give way to new developments moving west from Cambridge Heath Road including the new Bethnal Green Travelodge and new development of student accommodation ‘Host The Hive’.
58-64 Three Colts Lane is one of these new developments. Originally proposed as blocks of student accommodation rising to 16 storeys, the plans were rejected by Tower Hamlets planners and a lower-rise residential building has now successfully been completed including, much to the planning authority’s credit, affordable art gallery spaces at the ground floor, though this does compensate for art studios lost as part of the redevelopment.
Mother’s Tankstation and Project Native Informant are two of new gallery spaces with, during Condo, Mother’s Tankstation hosting Château Shatto from Los Angeles and showing work by Yuko Mori and Zeinab Saleh from Los Angeles, while Project Native Informant has been hosting ROH Projects from Jakarta, together showing work by Flo Brooks and Bagus Pandega.
Flo Brook’s work has a particular resonance in this changing area, including a builder and property developer plotting redevelopment with potential increased gentrification and loss of cultural and societal identity.
Across the road, in an old warehouse on the corner, is the Herald Street Gallery, a former industrial space discretely hidden behind a narrow doorway, which now makes a fine gallery space which, during Condo, has been hosting Misako & Rosen from Toyko showing creatively manipulated images by the New York photographer John Brand.
The last week of the excellent initiative Condo has now passed; we will need to wait until next January for the next one.