WestEndExtra

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The little gallery with big ideas

Placards in Dean Street window bring the disaster of Grenfell Tower to the minds of people who live and work in the West End

10 November, 2017

Placards in the window of 62 Dean Street

IT is called the “Smallest Gallery in Soho” but judging by its current display, it could also have added to its title: …and the one with the biggest ideas.

Based in the windows of 62 Dean Street, in a building run by start-up investment company The Garage, the space is curated by Andreia Costa and Philip Levine.

The pair use it as a forum to offer public art that catches the eye and provokes thought and discussion. The current show, called For Grenfell, is a collaboration between artist Hannah Dickens and poet Musa Okwonga.

Musa wrote the words and Hannah has converted them into stunning placards that bring the disaster of Grenfell to the minds of the people who live and work in the West End.

“It’s been about five months since the Grenfell Tower fire,” says Philip. “For too many people it is already a news story of the past; however, the people from the tower and the community still need so much support. As a society, we should not forget what happened and must learn and influence those who can make the changes for all to live in safer places, as is their right.”

Speaking with Musa and Hannah, it became clear Grenfell would provide a powerful starting point for the current display.

The gallery also offers something that they feel has been eroded in Soho in recent years. Philip said: “The space is a historic shopfront which faces onto Dean Street, in the heart of Soho. Anyone who has been to Soho in recent times knows that the area is changing rapidly. Alongside major redevelopment, the spaces you walk around in Soho are now primarily used as offices, restaurants or shops, offering very little in the way of thought-provoking, creative content. As curators, we aim to activate the space by presenting engaging artwork which inspires and possibly challenges the residents, workers and tourists who pass by the window. By doing so, the space offers something different on the streets of Soho, while retaining a creative dimension for the community.”

For Grenfell runs at 62 Dean Street, until January.

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