ORGAN PREVIEW: Deptford X starts this weekend, the long-running South London arts festival promises lots…

London’s longest running arts festival is back with an outdoor Summer Arts Trail “embracing joy, healing and togetherness”. It all starts this evening, Friday 9th July over in Deptford South East London with a raher big rather ambitious programme of art events, including the more pro-active elements of the Fringe where artists tend to lead things a little more – that take place mostly outside over the next ten days.


Here’s what the organisers have to say….

“Deptford X, London’s longest running contemporary visual arts festival, returns this summer to transform the streets of Deptford and the surrounding areas into an outdoor art trail and open air gallery. Parks, shop fronts, gardens and many other outdoor spaces are playing host to artworks, performances and events for all to enjoy.

This year we were presented with very challenging constraints but the artists in the Curated and Fringe programmes have risen to the challenge in the most inspirational way! The Festival will see the display of The Deptford Mermaid, by Chila Kumari Singh Burman, presented as a token of good luck for the people of Deptford; Deptford X pop-up by Sahra Hersi, a multi-purpose outdoor space which will act as meeting point and performance venue for local artists; and Urbane Dance Marathon by Harold Offeh which, through a guided audio tour of the local area, will invite the audience to subvert the strained choreography of the pandemic and dance in public spaces.

We will be presenting several performances as part of the Curated and Fringe programmes. Highlights include Dancing with my Future to Salserin by Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana, which will take the form of a curated party, set in a domestic garden; and Radio Neighbourhood by Ghost and John, curated by Sandra Lam, a 2-person, narrative based performance suitable for a family audience.


For the first time members from our Peer Network, a group of early career Black and POC curators and artists affiliated with Deptford X will present work. ‘Have You Eaten Yet?’ is performance series and exhibition presented by South and South East Asian artists and curators. The project will create social encounters and opportunities for the community to heal, explore diversity & connect with one another and will be on display for the duration of the Festival.

Essays by Mimi Chu and Jamila Prowse will contextualise and reflect on the significance and importance of a place-based visual art festival in the wake of Covid-19. Whilst audiences from farther afield, unable to attend this year’s Festival, will be invited to listen to 30-minute radio shows by local and international artists, aired daily on Deptford’s local radio station ‘AAJA’.


Finally, our celebrated Fringe programme will profile the strength and diversity of local contemporary art practice in Deptford with over 60 projects/events to enjoy, Our Fringe provides an opportunity for all to display their creativity regardless of age or background.

We hope that the audience will enjoy and take heart from this year’s Festival which aims to bring a sense of joy, healing and togetherness to Deptford in the wake of the pandemic”.

Expect more coverage on these pages next week as the festival unfolds. And I guess I should declare my own interest, I am once more one of the many participating artists, there will be an art drop, piece a #43Leaves piece, 43 pieces of art left hanging on the street of Deptford as part of the Fringe during the festival, 43 paintings, leaves if you will, painting on found unwanted material picked up from the street, unwanted material picked up, cleaned up, painted on and then just left hanging for people to take… (sw)

Official Deptford X website / Deptford X instagram

A flavour or two in advance, please do click on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show

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