In deepest Peckham is one of London’s more unusual art venues, the upper floors of a disused carpark.
Up a hidden concrete staircase, through a door into another staircase – pink this time (an artwork by Simon Whybray), out onto the rooftop floor with the old yellow parking bay markings still evident and now caught in a swirl by Richard Wentworth’s ‘Agora’, on which sit four lions by Polish artist Ewa Axelrad, refuguees from Trafalgar Square perhaps(?) with architects Cooke Fawcett’s new ‘Peckham Observatory’ providing views across to the Shard and tall buildings of the City and Canary Wharf.
Additional artworks include Adel Abdessemed’s “Bristow” and Mexican artist Isaac Olvera’s “Your image will be weathered but never be taken away”. There is also a concert venue for the Multi-Storey Orchestra and other performance organisations.
There is a feeling of it being very temporary though a cinema has been installed in part of the building. The future of the building is uncertain, which does not enable long term investment. A great pity, as the potential to create a unique arts centre for south London, on par with Le Fabrica del Arte Cubano in Havana. It is a sad reflection on London where we cannot create such a venue for the benefit of the local community.