East London is a hub of up and coming art spaces, more densely populated with creatives than anywhere else. But since arty coolness attracts gentrification, so the artists themselves go in search of cheaper rents, making Bow the 00s equivalent of Hoxton in the 90s.
Slightly less accessible than Hoxton, it’s a bit out of the way even for those of us used to seeking out art in Bethnal Green’s Vyner Street, but worth a visit to see art coming straight from the next generation, unmediated.
Bow’s Floor Ten Gallery is an artist run space in a tower block that also serves as artists’ live/work space for your garden variety East Londoner. It's about as close to the Bow scene as one is going to get, and currently hosts Goldsmiths student Tom Crawford.
There is a charming hitch with Floor Ten Gallery technically being on floor three after unforeseen obstacles up on the tenth floor. But what’s a few metres between friends? The point is that Crawford’s work can be seen in the location of its conception.
In the first room a dual video work compliments one to the other, contrasting a static street scene with handheld footage shot with the camera pointing towards the pavement. Next door showcases a clever installation with windows having been blacked out to screen a vista shot of busy Bow slowly descending into darkness.
Crawford's practice previously revolved around painting and installation with this exhibition marking a large shift into video-based stream. There is an apparant lack of editing which is indicative of artists new to the medium of video. The rawness helps extend Crawford's comment on a city in transition, especially pertinent as the Olympics move in. Three vintage postcards in the hallway show the streets literally paved with gold leaf. This working class neighbourhood is set for transformation.
-- Laura Bushell
Images Courtesy Tom Crawford
Images: Tom Crawford, Observer, Mixed Media, 2010; Tom Crawford, Gold Belt (Romford Road), Gold Leaf on Postcard, 32.5 x 37cm (framed), 2010.