From its incredible architecture and historic landmarks, to its diverse culture and vibrant art scene, London is a city of icons, and a city perfectly adept at creating icons, too. Wherever you wander in London you’re likely to encounter examples of bygone eras, as well as neon-brightindicators that there’s plenty of life in the city’s contemporary art scene yet. Perhaps that’s what makes London’s artistic associations so exciting; blending old and new, brash and demure, and everything in between, there’s no contemporary art scene quite like the one to be found in our capital city.It’s diverse, groundbreaking and awe-inspiring – and we still can’t get enough of it.
So, how can you get involved in the London art scene and enjoy all that it has to offer? At a first glance London’s art scene can appear intimidating. After all, the city has been a centre of excellence for art for many hundreds of years, and it has birthed numerous movements and talents. However, scratch beneath the surface of London’s art scene and you’ll discover that it has something for everyone at every level, regardless of your artistic persuasions. Are you ready to go and explore?
Pay a visit to London’s museums and art galleries
If you’re looking to explore London’s art scene, or to be inspired by works from all walks of life then you must pay a visit to the city’s galleries, museums and auction houses. From institutions such as the Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, to contemporary spaces like White Cube and the Design Museum, you won’t be disappointed by the depth and breadth of art history on display. Well, if you want to become involved with London’s art scene then you must go back to its roots.
Sometimes it’s not enough to look at art, or to admire its beauty. We often need to experience art in order to appreciate its impact, or to be inspired by its hidden messages. The capital city boasts numerous such opportunities to experience art, including the urban street art scene of East London, pop-up concerts and installations, enjoying a show at any of the West End’s theatres and venues, or visiting an art gallery after dark for a particularly special preview or demonstration. The city lives and breathes art, and it wants you to experience it all for yourself.
Fund a project
The most amazing thing about London’s art scene is that it belongs to everyone, and anyone. Sure there are cliques and trendsetters who might claim a particular movement for themselves. However, the city’s art is thoroughly accessible, and available to be enjoyed in whatever capacity you see fit. Sometimes the harmony we experience via art extends into our wallets. Perhaps you’ll find yourself wanting to fund an artistic project, or community venture via the National Funding Scheme, or a similar crowdfunding initiative. Doing so will enable London’s art scene to thrive and place you firmly at the heart of the action.
Become an artist
Perhaps gazing at, and appreciating art isn’t your thing. Maybe, just maybe you fancy yourself as an artist. While numerous people have made their careers on daubing brash messages and images onto buildings that’s not a career move I can endorse, I’m afraid. That said, there are some fantastic opportunities for artists across the city. Take the movement towards affordable accommodation for aspiring artists and the many exhibition spaces that are keen to host new talent – not to mention the casting calls for performers, artists and creative types that spring up via agencies and individuals alike. London is a city for the creative; answer its call.
Discover some alternative art scenes
The use of the term ‘alternative’ is subjective, of course. However, that’s the amazing thing about London’s art scene. It’s willing to involve anyone, regardless of his or her artistic persuasion. From fine arts and contemporary sculpture, to street art, graffiti and improvised performances there’s something for everyone hidden in plain sight. Take, for example, the new wave of pop-up exhibition spaces, which are giving the galleries a run for their money. Anywhere can become a gallery with a little imagination. Then there’s the city’s penchant for fashion and photography, and its ability to transform any vista into a canvas. The London art scene is always moving, and you have to embrace it and enjoy the ride.
I’m hopeful that you’ll finish reading this blog filled with inspiration, whether you harness that motivation to visit a whole new set of galleries or create a masterpiece of your own. London’s art scene was forged from multiple influences, and it belongs to anyone and everyone who has ever had the opportunity to enjoy its beauty and brilliance. Are you looking to be involved? Simply open your mind to the possibilities that art can offer, and embrace London’s art scene for all it’s ever been and is ever likely to be. We are all a part of its movement.