Hannah Barry

Hannah Barry (UK)

Presentation: Bold Tendencies is Setting the Stage in Peckham - An Introduction to a 21st Century Creative Enterprise

The Hannah Barry Gallery grew out of a series of temporary exhibition projects in South London before establishing a permanent home in Peckham in 2007. The roster was built around British artists and in particular the leading young British sculptors James Capper and Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq. This was complemented by standout special exhibitions such as ‘Minstrel & Chronicle’ (2012); and ‘Optimism: The Art of our Time’ (2008). In November 2013
the gallery relaunched in a new space in Peckham with a mixed programme of represented artists and special project group exhibitions.

The gallery has also initiated a series of highprofile international projects including the celebrated Palazzo Peckham for the 2013 Venice Biennale. It also founded Bold Tendencies, a notforprofit commissioning organisation that has spearheaded the transformation of Peckham, South London through an annual summer programme of visual art, architecture, music and dance (2007 – present) which through its innovative commissioning programme has featured many of the most important living artists of our time (Richard Wentworth, AYR, James Bridle, Camille Henrot, Cecile B. Evans, Bruce High Quality Foundation to name a few). The project has also initiated, supported and inspired many new creative enterprises and charities as part of its programme for example the Practice Architecture designed Frank’s Bar, the Multistory Orchestra, the London Contemporary Music Festival, the Copeland Book Market et al).

From 20072014 she worked closely with Anthony d’Offay in particular on the fifty ARTIST ROOMS of Postwar and Contemporary art donated by Anthony d’Offay to TATE and the National Galleries of Scotland in 2008, with the generous help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. The purpose of the donation was to make available to regional museums in the UK curated monographic exhibitions of many of the most distinguished artists of modern times from Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol to Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst with a special emphasis on young people and education. The size of the donation makes ARTIST ROOMS one of the major acts of philanthropy in art of our time.

She is CoChair of the Chinati Contemporary Council, Marfa Texas and cofounded the Matchstick Press which published the first collection of the work of British poet Rachael Allen last fall.

Praise for Bold Tendencies

“There are few initiatives taking place anywhere in the UK that match the verve with which the Bold Tendencies Team have taken advantage of the opportunity offered by Southwark for the imaginative use of derelict space”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director Tate

“There is a vast catalogue of empty or abandoned buildings in South London. There is also a huge creative community. Peckham is exemplary in showing how the two can work together for low cost and high benefit.”
Stephen Bayley, Founder, Design Museum & Cultural Commentator

“The will of a few people artists foremost, but also writers dealers curators and even collectors can remake reality.”
Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

“Bold Tendencies is a particularly brilliant example of the next generation of curators and artists working together to make something exceptional happen in the city.”
Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, London

“Bold Tendencies is a flagship project for a new way of looking at Peckham”
Harriet Harman, Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham 

“In London’s overcrowded arts scene, it takes great imagination and boldness to stand out from the crowd. Bold Tendencies does just that, producing a series of commissions that are ambitious and innovative. Now, thanks in no small part to them, Peckham has become an
essential destination for arts and culture.”
John Kampfner, Chief Executive, Creative Industries Federation

“Bold Tendencies exemplifies how art can happen where you expect it the least. Projects like this one have a key role as a laboratory for defining new spaces for art. Their cultural benefit for the surrounding communities is vital.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Director, Serpentine Gallery

Bold Tendencies Founders in the Press

Small change, maximum impact. Hannah Barry is making waves without big budgets. The art dealer is the brains behind the popup
Palazzo Peckham. “Venice, like a city in a snow globe, needs a shake,” purrs the promotional video Benvenuto al Palazzo Peckham. A
“popup palazzo” conceptualised in the grimy environs of Peckham, south London, and launched this week in a boathouse between Giardini and Arsenale is one of Venice’s most bizarre projects – at once ambitious and laidback. The idea of a PeckhaminVenice
showcase as “both a work of art and a facility” came to dealer Hannah Barry “in the shower”. She displayed similar chutzpah creating Venice’s 2009 “Peckham Pavilion”, and in 2007 “Bold Tendencies”, an exhibition atop Peckham’s disused multistorey car park that has now become London’s major annual sculpture event. “It’s fun because of the enormous risks of doing something that seems undoable,” says Barry.
Financial Times

Hannah Barry is a leading light of the young London gallery scene. Since founding the Hannah Barry Gallery in 2008, she has been influential in pulling the locus of contemporary art in the capital away from the East End and south to Peckham. Most notably, she set up
the annual ‘Bold Tendencies’ exhibition, which has drawn more than half a million visitors already to this previously unfashionable corner of the city. While a core of British artists anchor the gallery, including James Capper, last year’s Palazzo Peckham at the Venice
Biennale served notice that Barry’s vision extends well beyond southeast London.
Apollo 40 Under 40

Senior figures in the art world have been increasingly drawn to the area in search of the holy grail of a more authentic and less polished art experience. “Bold Tendencies”, an annual summer sculpture exhibition held at the top of a tenstorey car park in Peckham Rye, is the star attraction. The exhibition was set up in 2007 by the gallerist Hannah Barry. She is one of the driving forces behind the development of the area’s art scene, and she is capable of bringing some of the art world’s biggest names to the local shows.
The Art Newspaper


Draft talking points

1. Philanthropy as a state of mind

a. makes projects possible

b. currency of generosity how to harness efficiently and put to good use across all aspects of a grassroots creative enterprise

i. a healthy volunteer force is transformative to the human resources of a fledgling organisation (like ours). Volunteers increase productivity and build community. How can we think innovatively about the volunteer in 21st century in particular in terms of compensation? cf. world’s leading volunteer programmes in museums i.e. AGNSW, Sydney, Guggenheim Museum, Venice, Manchester International Festival

c. defining live relationship between philanthropy (giving) and nurturing a community (of givers financial, time, skills). Including diverse players, perspectives, and practices supports better outcomes.

d. financial donations what (tax) breaks and benefits (if any) are there for donors

e. how best can creative enterprises like ours work with public and private sector partners to maximise investment? New or alternative sources of funding on
their own cannot be a like for like replacement for public investment, National Lottery grants or traditional philanthropy, however, in combination they can
help build the overall financial resilience of the sector.

i. How do we explore/pilot n ew or alternative sources of funding for our arts and culture initiatives?

ii. How to legitimise these new revenue streams as part of an arts and culture enterprise?

f. system of opportunity

2. Role of civic space and pride for the 21st Century must not be underestimated a. The enormity of the urban experience, the overwhelming presence of massive
architectures and dense infrastructures, have produced displacement and estrangement amongst many individuals and whole communities. Such conditions unsettle older notions and experiences of the city generally, and public space in particular. There is a type of urban condition that dwells between the massive structures and the reality of semiabandoned places. In this context, architecture and urban design can function as an artistic practice that allows us to capture something more elusive than what is represented by ideas such as the themeparking of cities.

b. using plug-in or bolt-on to introduce new and innovative architecture into a space (such as our dis/underused municipal car park) whose use is transformed by cultural activity can serve as a powerful gathering force for citizens, visitors and tourists church / steeple / people metaphor

c. “somewhere to…” the provision of facilities through architectural interventions

i. expand why people come through additional offerings i.e. auditorium, bar, restaurant, classroom,

ii. augment time people stay through welcome, comfort, etc in otherwise hostile locations!

d. many large city spaces are closed for substantial parts of the day or night, week or month and so could be classified as underuse (concert halls, nightclubs etc ). Can this ‘downtime’ be reinvented through new collaborations or partnerships i.e. Bold Tendencies with Ministry of Sound or similar

3. Split Fear

a. aspects of change: questions about the existence/role/validity of the local and the authentic within globalised production patterns and aspirations
b. transformation vs. regeneration “Gentrification is a funky beast. A plea, a prospect, a curse. It’s the assertive mantra of London’s realestate
frontiering. And still, I can’t seem to get an uber out of Peckham. Regeneration refers to that distinct process by which suburban areas of the city previously reckoned as unapproachable, are over a certain amount of time ameliorated and rendered appetitive for external speculation. Do you take cards? Peckham is
being regenerated. It’s young, fresh, contactless and thriving…”

4. London The Greatest City on Earth?

a. combining tradition with dynamic entrepreneurial spirit

b. a meeting place for global leaders of all kinds

c. but where to work widespread residential development in the city is not only pushing up living costs, but also creating a shortage of affordable artists’ studios and
space for creative industry startups. Up to 30% of artists’ studios in London are at risk of disappearing in the next five years, according to a report published by the
Mayor of London’s Office in September 2014. A followup report, due to be published at the end of this year, will look at ways of financing studios and space. http://theartnewspaper.com/reports/160216/