South London galleries join forces and relocate to Fitzrovia as emerging art market matures

Two galleries which cut their teeth in Deptford, southeast London, are relocating to larger premises in the center of the UK capital.

Castor and Indigo + Madder are jointly taking over a 2,200 sq ft lower ground floor space in Fitzrovia, operating separate exhibition programs but sharing a reception, office, viewing room and other facilities — a model more frequently seen in New York.

The new space opens on September 1 with a group show across both galleries aptly titled, There Goes the Neighborhoodwhich examines ideas of community, urbanity and what it means to be marginalized.

Describing the new venue as a “mini mega gallery”, Castor’s founder Andy Wicks notes how it’s a “really exciting time” to be moving into Fitzrovia, with galleries including Workplace, Vitrine, Lungley and Alice Black recently opening close to Edel Assanti’s new space .

He adds: “It’s great to see more and more young galleries taking on central London spaces, which in the time of the mega gallery can only be a positive thing.”

Wicks founded Castor in 2016, initially renting for free a small basement in a café next to Goldsmiths in New Cross. After programming 12 solo exhibitions in 12 months, Wicks relocated to Resolution Way in Deptford alongside a host of other creative businesses and project spaces. In 2018, after expanding the gallery’s footprint twice, he turned the project space into a commercial gallery, and currently represents seven artists.

Of the decision to move with Indigo + Madder, Wicks says he had noticed how, in New York, the galleries “were more used to collaborate with the likes of Shrine and Sargents Daughters joining forces”. He adds: “When I started to look for a new space I was keen to find one which would allow us to continue and expand on this joint offering, while not compromising on space.”

Indigo + Madder, which was set up to facilitate more nuanced conversations around South Asia and its diaspora and has a history of championing artists of color, began in 2018 with a pop-up show in London. The gallery moved to Resolution Way in 2019. As gallery director Krittika Sharma says: “When we started looking for a permanent space in 2018, we wanted something that was embedded in London’s emerging art scene, and being part of the multi-disciplinary group of spaces in Deptford has been incredible. ”

She adds: “The fact that we can expand and move forward with Castor, exploring a model that is both innovative and collaborative is exciting. We are now looking forward to taking these collaborative energies to a larger scale in central London. ”

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