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Art Licks Weekend: London’s emerging art scene from Peckham to Bethnal Green

A hairdresser’s, a billboard, a café and a mum’s car, are among the unusual locations in this city-wide event

by José da Silva  |  1 October 2015
Art Licks Weekend: London’s emerging art scene from Peckham to Bethnal Green
Art Licks Weekend 2014 tour. Photo: Mariona Otero. © Art Licks
This year’s Art Licks Weekend, a free three-day festival featuring emerging artists and young galleries, opens tomorrow (2 October) with 90 exhibitions and events taking place across London.

The annual festival highlights the contribution of grassroots initiatives to the London art scene. But as the capital's rents continue to rise, "space can be hard to come by", says Holly Willats, the founder and director of the event. The festival aims to highlight how young artists and curators overcome this challenge by being “open-minded, proactive and finding alternatives”, Willats says.

We pick five of the more unusual locations where works will be shown during this year's edition of Art Licks Weekend.

Millington Marriott posing on "Sean's mum's car"
Tokyo Drift at Millington Marriott, various venues

Millington Marriott are a curatorial duo who have participated in all of the Art Licks Weekends to date. And each time in a different location, from Sean Millington’s flat to their most recent location in a Bermondsey warehouse (until the landlord decided to redevelop the building). This year they have gone for a more mobile option by inviting four artists—including the trendy ceramicist Jesse Wine and the internet-star-in-waiting Jessica Mai Walker—to customise “Sean [Millington]’s mum’s car”.

Jack Strange's installation at DKUK Salon
Jack Strange: It Want It at DKUK Salon, Peckham


DKUK was started by the artist—and trained hairdresser—Daniel Kelly a year ago as a temporary project. Due to its popularity, it has continued ever since, combining haircuts and exhibitions in a shopping arcade unit in Peckham. Kelly has recently even secured Arts Council funding for the space. This weekend, Jack Strange will present a sculpture of a single dancing hair with an accompanying soundtrack, which can be viewed with or without getting a short back and sides.

Lucy Joyce's billborad commission Motorway Becomes Sea (2015)
Lucy Joyce: Motorway Becomes Sea at The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Peckham


Lucy Joyce’s commission for The Ballad of Peckham Rye sees one of her collages blown-up in size to temporarily replace the usual advertisements on a billboard outside of Queens Road Peckham station. The artist, who often uses collage as a way of illustrating proposals for installations or performances, will also broadcast an accompanying audio work on Radio Anti 87.5FM during the weekend.   

Kim W. Wilson, the long home (2013)
Café Amatorska at Amatorska, New Cross


Recent graduates rub shoulders with better-known artists such as Toby Ziegler and Eloise Fornieles, in this group show in the curator Agnieszka Szczotka’s home. Temporarily transformed into Café Amatorska, the exhibition will give visitors the chance to chat with some of the artists over coffee and edible sculptures.

He Wiseman, Untitled (The Gift if There Is Any) (2015). Courtesy of the artist.
The Gift, If There Is Any at VERBureau, Columbia Road Flower Market, Bethnal Green


The Glasgow–based curatorial collective, VERBureau, have organised a participatory performance at Columbia Road Flower Market with five artists exploring gift giving. Visitors are requested to bring “spare yarn” to add to a work by Californian artist and weaver Travis Meinolf.

Art Licks Weekend 2015, various venues, London, 2-4 October

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