Bussey Building colonised by artists

From The Londonist:
Art Preview: Catastrophe at the Hannah Barry Gallery, SE15

Artists and Peckham seem to go together like, well, cuckoos and nests, or hermit crabs and shells: they move in and customize the place to suit. First there was Area 10, and then the squat at Lyndhurst Way. And now there is the Bussey Building, a magnificent, echoing Victorian warehouse which has been colonized by up to 100 artists. Peckham residents are getting kind of attached to them, and the town centre is fighting to keep them in place rather than lose it to the TfL and a tram depot. A fact which Londonist finds both heartwarming and interesting. Anyway, head round the back to Copeland Road, and you will find that the ‘colony’ has its very own exhibition space, the Hannah Barry Gallery. And Ms. Barry is just about to co-host a new show. Called Catastrophe, it features the art of Bobby Dowler, who at the grand old age of 20 something is in fact a veteran of the new wave SE15 art scene, having been one of the founders of the Lyndhurst squat.

We haven’t been yet, but we’ve seen some of the artist’s former works: expect the unexpected, a few rough edges and an enormous amount of fun. If you like your art modern and splodgy, unrestrained and unfussy, this is a must for you.

By the way, even if you can’t get to this expo, you can at least get a flavour for the building by visiting it during Open House Weekend on the 20th/21st September. Londonist likes to share and we reckon that both the artist and the venue are ones to watch.

The exhibition opens 4th September and runs ‘til the 11th September. The gallery is open from 12 noon ‘til 6pm. You can call Hannah on 07850 639 570 for more details.

Bussey Building from nakwoodford’s flickr stream under the Creative Commons Licence.

Bussey Building: In 21st Century Action

Saturday 19th July saw the first ever South City Radio broadcast from the Bussey Building.

The broadcast programme, with a panel and a participating public audience had a lively debate on Peckham’s contribution to London’s cultural life, and the natural organic growth of the cultural life in that part of the town centre in and around the Bussey building. The event took place on the third floor in the international exhibition featuring potential alternative architectural visions of ‘Future Peckham’, in particular for the central Rye Lane area of Peckham town centre. The exhibitors were from Cottbus College Berlin, Jeffrey Gale Eco Architecture, and Peckham Vision. On the first floor was an exhibition of work from leading Peckham based artists, painters and photographers. Both exhibitions were curated by Alice White.

South City Radio is the new name for Radio Peckham, reflecting its success in having a much wider listening audience. Saturday’s programme will be broadcast on their website at http://www.southcityradio.org/culturefix/  The whole event was organised by the Chronic Art Foundation, based in the Bussey Building, bringing the artistic life on the site to the public:
www.chronicartfoundation.org

Further information from www.peckhamvision.org
________________________________________________________
The Panel
Ben Perry (Presenter, South City Radio’s ‘The Primer’)
Emily Druiff (Director, Peckham Space)
Dr Paul Goodwin (Centre for Urban & Community Research, Goldsmiths College / Curator of Cross-Cultural Programmes, Tate Britain)
Adam Khan (Adam Khan Architects / winner of a RIBA silver medal for Building Stories, an alternative masterplan for Peckham)
Russell Profitt ( Head of Council’s Peckham Programme)
Michael Stickland (South City Radio station manager, & Peckham resident)
Alice White (Curator, Chronic Art Foundation / Bussey Building resident artist)

Peckham’s Cultural Heart Thriving in Spite of Tram Depot Threat

The Chronic Art Foundation, the CLF (Chronic Love Foundation), the Hannah Barry Gallery, and Peckham Vision, this week burst out into the public arena from their bases in and around the historic Bussey Building behind 133 Rye Lane. They are making a major contribution in many forms of art, music, architecture and urban planning in the ‘I Love Peckham Festival’.

All of this could be wiped out by TfL’s (Transport for London) plans to demolish the Bussey Building and the 7 acre site around it for the Cross River Tram Depot. TfL promised to do a thorough review and exploration of other sites for the several depots needed across the whole proposed network from Camden to Peckham & Brixton. But they have said nothing for two years. Meanwhile, in spite of the blight this has caused, the site they declared incorrectly as ‘derelict’ continues to go from strength to strength contributing magnificently to Peckham’s cultural, economic and social renaissance.

Art, Culture & Planning Burst Out From The Bussey Building Site

Modern Music & Art blends with Historic Peckham.

Dates for the diary during the I Love Peckham Festival this week: a visible expression of the burgeoning cultural creativity in and around the historic Bussey Building behind 133 Rye Lane.

  • Monday 14th  to Sunday 20th July, daily 1pm to 5pm: art, architecture, & town centre plans. Chronic Art Foundation exhibitions, 1st & 3rd floors, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
  • Monday 14th to Sunday 20th July, daily midday to 6pm: monumental outdoor sculpture. Hannah Barry Gallery, outdoor exhibition 10th Floor Multi-Storey Car Park. [note: this roof is an excellent place to see the decorative architectural side of the Bussey Building, that faces the railway line, and the car park.]
  • Wednesday 16th July, meet 6.30pm at Peckham Town Square. town centre architectural walk including historic Bussey Building & newly listed station.
  • Saturday 19th July, 2pm  Public Debate: Peckham’s cultural renaissance. live with South City Radio, 3rd floor in Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
  • Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th July, 11am – 7pm, CLF Weekender (Chronic Love Foundation) I Love Peckham Live Music Finale, several stages across town centre.>
  • Sunday 20th July, 8pm to midnight, Closing Live Music Celebration of Festival. 1st floor Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.

Further information & details about these events

Queries: Peckham Residents’ Network <PRN@nutbrook.demon.co.uk>
Information about the overall Festival: www.southwark.gov.uk/ilovepeckham

Details of events

Exhibitions: MONDAY 14th JULY to SUNDAY 20th JULY:
Monday to Sunday 1pm-5pm daily.
Chronic Art Foundation Exhibition:
Venue: Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
1st floor art gallery – paintings, sculpture, print, drawing …
3rd floor  Peckham Futures – visions and ideas for developments in central Rye Lane in and around Bussey building and adjacent sites.

www.chronicartfoundation.org
www.peckhamvision.org

Exhibition: MONDAY 14th JULY to SUNDAY 20th JULY:
Monday to Sunday midday to 6pm daily.
Hannah Barry Gallery: [the Gallery is in warehouse next to Bussey Building]
Venue for the outdoor exhibition: 10th Floor Multi-Storey Car Park, behind Multiplex Cinema: lift to Level 6. Follow signs to Level 10.
monumental outdoor sculpture specially made for the show ‘Bold Tendencies’.

Financial Times preview: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7b175bfc-4fb4-11dd-b050-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1
www.hannahbarry.com

Town Centre Walk: WEDNESDAY 16th JULY  6.30pm to 8.30pm.
Walk begins at Peckham Square. Highlights include historic Victorian warehouse factory the Bussey Building & recently listed Peckham Rye station.
Led by local architect Benedict O’Looney.

http://www.peckhamsociety.org.uk/

*****************************************************
SPECIAL EVENT on SATURDAY 19th JULY 2pm:
Chronic Art Foundation with South City Radio (formerly Radio Peckham).
Venue: 3rd floor Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.
PUBLIC DEBATE live on The Primer radio programme with – ‘How Do We build the Culture Capital of London?’     Afternoon refreshments.
The Peckham Futures exhibition: plans, visions, ideas for exciting, sustainable regeneration in this heart of the town centre, nurturing creative businesses that have taken root in the Bussey Building and surrounding area.

www.chronicartfoundation.org
www.peckhamvision.org
Radio Preview: you can listen to a preview of the debate in the recent special edition of the monthly show ‘The Primer’ -  “Ben and Alice are joined by Benedict O’Looney for a special version of his ‘The Architecture Spot’. Benny looks at the famous Bussey Building and discusses plans for the future of the area …” http://www.southcityradio.org/culturefix/

******************************************************
Music: ALL WEEKEND 19th & 20th JULY:
Saturday 11am to 7pm; Sunday 12 noon to 7pm.
Chronic Love Foundation presents a CLF Weekender:
The I Love Peckham Festival Finale 2008.
Cutting edge Live Music, Food, Art and Life.
Venues: across the heart of Peckham from Peckham Rye station to
Peckham Square and beyond – 2 days, 6 stages of over 250 artists.

www.myspace.com/CLFplanet

Celebration: SUNDAY 20th JULY 8pm to midnight.
Chronic Art Foundation & Chronic Love Foundation present:
Festival Closing Event with live music & refreshments .
Venue: 1st floor, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane entrance.

www.myspace.com/CLFplanet
www.chronicartfoundation.org

_____________________________________________
Websites

www.peckhamvision.org
www.chronicartfoundation.org
www.hannahbarry.com
www.myspace.com/CLFplanet
www.southcityradio.org/culturefix
www.southwark.gov.uk/ilovepeckham

An alternative vision for Rye Lane Central

Peckham Vision has submitted initial comments for the PAAP (Peckham Area Action Plan): “It often appears that the town centre is conceived only as a long narrow linear shopping street, with relatively isolated opportunity/development sites. But there is the potential for viewing this area around Rye Lane Central in a very different way – as an integrated matrix with old and new buildings interlinked with open pedestrian spaces.” Read more and…

The Bussey building – ‘one of Peckham’s best kept secrets’

Southwark News tells the story of the Bussey building: “Tucked behind Rye Lane is one of Peckham’s best kept secrets, a building that was once part of the area’s thriving industrial past, and is now part of the most controversial issues regarding the new tram that could run through it…The Bussey building became one of the premier cricket bat makers in the country … Legendary cricketer WG Grace’s favoured willow was from the factory, and he would often be seen wandering along Chadwick Road … The modern building … is still a functioning operation .. It houses a cosmopolitan bunch of businesses that thrive in the solid structure …The roof has an amazing view of not just Peckham but most of London, and Peckham Vision feel this may be an ideal spot for a rooftop restaurant. Read More …


Southwark News 10th April 2008

Bussey Building artist – Alice White – celebrated by Dulwich-On-View

Alice (www.alicewhiteart.com) practices as a painter from a studio in Peckham, located on the top floor of the historic Bussey Building, part of the site threatened by the proposed tram depot on the large industrial estate behind Rye Lane. Her studio is one of many on the site, now home to a thriving creative community, with great potential. Dulwich-On-View “recognises and celebrates the eclectic nature of the life of Dulwich and the surrounding area, the breadth of people and livelihoods, the rude health of the Arts, and the buoyant sense of community, and subverts the tired old caricatures lazily ascribed to our South London home.”

See also: Dulwich Review

Visions for Peckham: Vibrant Artists’ Community

Proposed Tram Maintenance Depot – latest news

Extract from Bellenden Residents’ Group Newsletter – May 2006A few days before the Peckham Vision meeting on 18 March, the Planning Inspector’s draft report on the Council’s UDP (Unitary Development Plan) was made available. See:
http://www.southwark.gov.uk/YourServices/planningandbuildingcontrol/planningpolicy
(click on draft inspector’s report Part II) This revealed that the Inspector had rejected the Council’s plan to use the heart of Peckham Town Centre for the tram maintenance depot. The depot was to house the 48 trams of the proposed Cross River tram route between Camden and Peckham. The Inspector said that Peckham had been chosen as the preferred site on the basis of misinformation in the report comparing over 20 potential sites. He said: Amazingly the site is described as vacant and derelict  that is simply not true  it is far from derelictthe comparative evaluation and selection process have been defective the loss of existing jobs and the disruption of businesses and other uses on the site is not justified. The land provides good opportunities for new and small businesses.

Peckham Vision reported this at the meeting, along with a brief account of what had been learnt by residents through the public inquiry in 2005 about the site selection process. There was a slide show of the site showing how adaptable the buildings were because of the wide variety of uses they were capable of accommodating. Some businesses which are affected, and were present, had only recently heard about the plans and were horrified.

The Peckham Society presented at the meeting an alternative route for the tram, without the tram depot, through Peckham town centre, showing how a final stop could be located near the station at the multi-storey car park. There was also a presentation of an alternative view of the site as a significant contributor to a more organic and gradual development of the central area of Rye Lane. The new Council, after the 4 May election, will be deciding whether or not to accept the Inspector’s report. There was a call at the meeting for a petition so that local people could express their support for the Inspector’s decision. This petition is now available. Help is needed to collect signatures now. If you can help in this or just want a petition to sign yourself, or email BRG@nutbrook.demon.co.uk

Artists Exhibitions on the site

Since the first exhibition last October, by the artists with studios on the threatened site, there have been a number of exhibitions. The current series is:

 21 April – 14 May The Mouse that Roared: 12pm-6pm Thursday-Sunday
www.project133.com 17 May – 4 June Inside/Outside: Private View Thursday 17 May 6.30pm-9.30pm;
Open daily 11am-5pm, except Mondays.
Film Nights- selected artists & The Invited Cinema: Fridays 19 May, 26 May, 2 June at 7pm.
email : alicewhite@dial.pipex.com www.artistsshowart.co.uk8 June – 30 June Notions of Drawing: Private View Thursday 8 June 6.30pm
Other times unknown; contact:
email: info@artbust.co.uk www.artbust.co.uk

These exhibitions of work by artists, working (in a variety of media) on the site, have been an excellent addition to Peckham life. They further illustrate the adaptability of the buildings there. In all the exhibitions, there has been a display of information and material about the site and its potential, and the latest news on the plans for the proposed tram depot. This will continue at the coming exhibitions, which are well worth visiting

Local Community Unaware of Council’s Plans

On Saturday (21-1-06) about 200 people crowded into a small art gallery in the Bussey Building, just off Rye Lane. They were given a tour of the roof with its extensive views over London and were shown details of the proposed tram depot on Rye Lane/Bournemouth Road. This Peckham Society meeting was organised by Peckham Vision a consortium of local residents, artists and businesses.
For nearly everyone at this historic meeting, it was the first time that they had seen any plans for a maintenance depot for a tram from Peckham to Camden. Very few people at the meeting were aware of the depot proposal at all, let alone its enormous scale and impact on the Town Centre. Local ward Cllr Andy Simmons said they had not been told of the extent of Transport for London (TfL) depot plans, and too much was going on behind closed doors.
While some members of the public seemed receptive to the idea of connecting Peckham to Camden with a tram, they were surprised and concerned to hear that a very large, noisy engineering depot and marshalling yard, to repair and maintain the trams and work on them overnight, might be located in the heart of Peckham Town Centre. This would displace around 600 local jobs and 40 businesses, some 60 local artists, an entire row of Rye Lane shops, 9 established churches, and 40 brand new affordable homes.
Peckham is not the only location considered for the tram depot, nor was it the original preferred location. Yet no adequate public consultation appears to have happened in relation to Peckham or any of the 28 other sites examined. Nor, it seems, has there been an examination of the true impact and the economic, commercial, traffic and social costs of a tram depot in Peckham Town Centre.
There was overwhelming concern at the lack of information that has been made available by TfL and Southwark Council, and at being seemingly presented with a fait accompli. There were repeated requests for release of information now before the formal consultation period.
The adverse consequences for businesses, jobs, homes, traffic, planning blight, shopping and historic buildings need to be discussed now by people who live and work in Peckham. Only then will local people and the Council be able to have an informed discussion about the future of Peckham.

Attachments:

1. Plan of the tram depot. 2. Photos of the meeting (sent by separate email)
Contact Details:
Peckham Vision: info@peckhamvision.org
__________________________________________________________________________
Notes for Editors

  1. The tram depot idea appeared in March 2004 in the draft UDP (Unitary Development Plan) apparently as potential mixed use combining a depot with new businesses, shops, housing, leisure and community facilities. The information secured by objectors, under the Freedom of Information Act in the course of the UDP public Inquiry in 2005, instead shows the very large site occupied only by a tram depot and a row of small shallow shops on Rye Lane the prime shopping street.
  2. The comparison of several possible locations for the depot implies that the Peckham site is mostly derelict with little significant activity on it. This is far from the case. In fact it is a thriving industrial park (CIP) providing a flexible and adaptable space for a variety of small businesses and community uses, a new social housing development of 40 flats just nearing completion (owned by Wandle Housing Association), and two large commercial buildings on the Rye Lane/Bournemouth Road frontage which have been refused planning permission for redevelopment, conversion and rehabilitation for shops and over 60 flats (owned by MacNiven & Cameron).
  3. An artists community of some 60 artists has established itself on the site and last October launched an art gallery with a month long exhibition as ‘Ruthless Peckham’. The success of this has led to the second exhibition running for a month from 19 January. This use of the site illustrates its potential for contributing to the recognised emergence of Peckham as a south London hub for creative entrepreneurs. The Peckham Society has a 30 year record of championing developments which celebrate and encourage the new alongside preservation of Peckham’s extensive historic heritage. Peckham Vision is a consortium of local residents, artists and businesses, who have come together to promote awareness of the issues.

Peckham Vision Event 21 January 2006

�Extract from Bellenden Residents’ Group Newsletter – February 2006

Peckham Vision Event� 21 January 2006

On the afternoon of Saturday 21 January 2006, about 200 local people crowded into a small art gallery in the Bussey Building, an historic solidly built Victorian factory, just off Rye Lane, in the Copeland Industrial Park (CIP), which is part of the semi-hidden enclave from the railway lines to Rye Lane, Bournemouth Road and Consort Road railway bridge. They were given a tour of the roof with its panoramic views over London, visual presentations of the historic architectural treasures throughout the town centre, and some details of the proposed tram maintenance depot. Artists working on the site shared their art gallery with the event, and with the exhibition of material about the town centre (this is open to 19th February, Wed-Sun 12pm-5pm). This was a Peckham Society meeting organised by Peckham Vision, a consortium of local residents, artists and businesses who have come together to seek information about the development plans for Peckham Town Centre, raise public awareness of these issues and stimulate an informed discussion between local people and the Council about the future of Peckham town centre.

Historic Treasures and Station Renovations

People were amazed to discover the extent of the wonderful historic architecture still there in the town centre, including wooden timbered buildings on the High St from the 17th century, but dismayed to hear how vulnerable it all is. The Peckham Society is working with the Conservation Unit in the Council to develop a Conservation Area to give the buildings some protection from demolition without warning. For more information contact benedict@waitrose.com & www.peckhamsociety.org.uk In parallel, the Rye Lane & Station Action Group (RLSAG), a joint residents� & Council group, has been focusing on improvements to the station and central Rye Lane shopping area. In the next few months new lighting around the station should make an impact. Inside the station there is an exciting project to transform passengers� experience. This is the first stage of reintegration into the station of the original enormous waiting room between platforms 2 & 3. The project will unbrick the large old windows, and project light from inside to the platforms. This is just a prelude to encouraging investment to bring that magnificent space back into social and communal use, and longer term to re-open the piazza in front of the station. If you want to know more about the RLSAG and its work please contact Eileen� email� info@peckhamvision.org

Proposed Tram Maintenance Depot

On the other side of Rye Lane there is a lively, busy multi-functional and adaptable industrial square tucked away in the semi-hidden enclave behind Rye Lane and Bournemouth Road. There is a passage way into this space, rather like Harry Potter�s platform 9&3/4 at Kings Cross! This is a doorway at No 133 Rye Lane (opposite Blenheim Grove). Walking along the passage takes you into an unexpected world of industrial, trading, social and artistic endeavours, where hundreds of people are occupied. This site has been designated by the Council in the draft Unitary Development Plan (UDP) as the site for the maintenance depot for the proposed Cross River Tram between Peckham and Camden. Last year, it was revealed, through the Freedom of Information Act during the UDP Public Inquiry, that the references to a tram depot with other business, residential and leisure uses were in fact plans for a huge maintenance depot for over 40 trams in the heart of the town centre, apparently with no room left for other uses except some shallow retail units on the Rye Lane frontage.

Displays of the tram depot plans are included in the exhibition. The trams would travel from the High St to the depot behind Bournemouth Road and Rye Lane, with probably one tram every two minutes under the Consort Road bridge, competing for road space with north�south road traffic through Peckham. The information acquired as a result of the public inquiry did not indicate that there had been a thorough examination of the impact of imposing a large engineering site in the heart of the town centre and of the costs for businesses, jobs, homes, traffic, planning blight, shopping and historic buildings. One of the purposes of the event was to make the available information more accessible to the general public. There was overwhelming concern at the lack of information from TfL (Transport for London) and the Council. There were repeated requests for release of further information before the formal consultation period. This is essential for local people to have their own conversations to work out what they think. Only then can there be useful informed discussions between local people and the Council about the future of Peckham. There will be further Peckham Vision events to assist in this public conversation. The next will be on Saturday 18th March to focus on the tram and the tram maintenance depot. See details under Events, page 7. If you would like to know more, email info@peckhamvision.org