The Art of Deptford
Deptford is home to one of London’s most thriving art scenes, with artists flocking to the area from all over the world to soak up the creativity and beauty of this creative hotspot. To celebrate this scene, the area plays host to the Deptford X Festival, which takes place until 30th September.
We recently spoke with one of the artists featuring at the festival, Rosalind Davis, who will be showcasing Border Controls at the No Format Gallery on Friday 28th September (2pm – 7pm) and Saturday 29th September (2pm – 8.30pm).
The concept of borders is a very interesting topic. How did the idea for Border Controls come about and what experience can visitors expect?
Border Controls is a collaborative piece between myself and fellow artist, Justin Hibbs, which explores the concept of the physical and psychological borders which we encounter every day in our own lives or through the news.
I have always been fascinated by the concept of borders from both a physical and psychological perspective. As an artist, I have always taken the view that we should all co-exist in sharing thoughts and ideas and Border Controls is symbolic of this approach, as it was a collaborative piece created between Justin and I.
The installation is composed of steel and mirrors which reflect one another. Some mirrors are curved, and some are on the ground behind the main installation and within them is steel lines and forms, creating a room. Borders cross, overlap, are in a state of flux and collapse within the installation which both transforms and disorients space.
The whole experience symbolises what borders are. A border can separate us, whether it be the border between rich and poor, the inner and the outer or between one country and another. However, taking apart these borders and finding common ground can benefit everyone. This message is embodied within the art as various shapes and angles represent different borders and how they interconnect.
What inspired you to become an artist?
When growing up, I initially had no aspirations to be an artist, though I did want to do something creative. My Father was an artist, so I knew what a hard life it could be due to the lack of financial and personal stability.
However, as a teenager I realised that art can express powerful themes and ideas as well as emotions. From thereon I felt compelled to follow this strong realisation and forge a career as a self-sustainable artist, which has proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Art allows me to tell a story and express something about the world around me. For instance, Justin and I felt strongly about the topic of borders as it’s an important political and human issue. And Border Controls has given us the opportunity to produce a piece of art which allows people to create their own story from their own perspective around this fascinating topic.
What makes Deptford special to you?
I grew up in Brockley, which is very close to Deptford, so I have always been familiar with the area.
Deptford has a big heart and I love the rich community and how there are so many amazing independent businesses, including galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants.
When I walk through Deptford, I always look up, as it has some amazing architecture which some people may not always notice.
Do you have recommendations for those visiting the area?
For anyone visiting, I recommend the Royal Albert, which is an excellent pub with a wonderful character and atmosphere. Also, Wellbeloved Butchers is certainly worth a visit, as it has the most amazing homemade pies!
Why is art so important to cities?
Art is a hugely important backbone to any city and is why London is such a cultural hotspot and so popular with tourists. People come to London to see the art in the galleries and museums. You can also see art expressed through the architecture and streetscapes, such as Big Ben, the Tower of London, Soho and Camden Market.
Artists are innovative and experts at creating communities and cultivating cultures. Wherever artists go, everyone else follows.
If you would like to live in an area renowned for its thriving art scene, then check out our Deptford Foundry development where Help to Buy and Stamp Duty incentives on any home over £500,000 (T&Cs apply) are now available.