Could art gallery be the key to curbing anti social behaviour?
PUBLISHED: 18:24 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 14:36 07 September 2010
By Ben McPartland AN EXPERIMENTAL art gallery is to open in the middle of an area blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour. Work by some of the world s most innovative emerging artists will soon be on display in the heart of the troubled Haverstock Wa
By Ben McPartland
AN EXPERIMENTAL art gallery is to open in the middle of an area blighted by crime and anti-social behaviour.
Work by some of the world's most innovative emerging artists will soon be on display in the heart of the troubled Haverstock Ward in Kentish Town.
On September 20 Zabludowicz Art Projects will open in the former Methodist Chapel at 176 Prince of Wales Road.
Gallery bosses say the building, which will be known as 176, will not be a traditional art exhibition space.
Anita Zabludowicz, who founded the Zabludowicz Collection 12 years ago, said: "176 will be a platform for more experimental shows. We want to present emerging artists and allow the collection to be used as material for exhibitions."
The former Methodist Chapel became the North London Drama Centre in the 1960s and is currently being given a makeover to make it appropriate for its new use.
The exhibition space will have three main galleries, with six smaller rooms and its walls will be given only a 'light touch' to preserve its history.
Its opening exhibition, An Archaeology, which will run from September 20 until December 16, will be curated by Elizabeth Nielson and will feature work from 38 artists.
The exhibition will look at how contemporary collections record the history of art.
And the arrival of the gallery could also provide a much needed boost for the area.
Anti-social behaviour and crime were the major issues discussed in the run up to a council by-election in the ward last month.
And councillors and residents are eager to improve its reputation after it was compared to the once unsavoury Bronx area of New York.
Co-chairwoman of Haverstock Safer Neighbourhoods panel Yasmin Allen said: "This is really good for the area. The only comparison I can think of is the area around Hoxton when the opening of an art gallery began to turn the area into a trendy place to go. So I hope this is just the start here.
"I hear they want to involve local people and engage with them and not make the place just for high brow visitors. I am not sure how they will do it but some have been invited to the private viewing next month.
"I believe this is a positive thing for here because it is slap bang next to the estates."
The ward's newly elected Lib Dem councillor Matt Sanders said: "I also hope the centre will be able to engage with young people in the area and local schools. Young people need to feel able to express themselves.
"Let's hope the new centre inspires another generation of Camden artists."