Arts Editor, Ruth Waters, discovers the gallery that glows in the dark.
Last Saturday, Atlantic Road’s new art space, Knight Webb Gallery, threw a launch party with a difference, inviting the community to roll up their sleeves and get creative with fluorescent paint and an empty wall. After ten hours of painting, and every spare inch of wall covered, the results were mesmerising.
Heavily influenced by the acid house rave scene , fluorescent paint is gallery owner and artist Rufus Knight-Webb’s medium of choice, he tells me carefully stepping over paint pots and brushes. He’s been painting and perfecting his use of fluorescent shapes and lines for years, but also finds it to be a fantastic medium for getting ‘non-painters’ involved: “It’s something weird and other worldly and interesting – it’s great for inspiring people to pick up a brush”.
Rufus has been working around Brixton for decades, and has had a studio just down the road in Camberwell for over twenty years. When asked why he’s decided to take on this space on Atlantic Road, he tells me that he needed a new challenge as well as somewhere to exhibit his own works and the work of his friends and fellow artists – “As an artist you make your own luck”, he says smiling. He’s certainly lucky in having amazing neighbours in Lounge – they supplied refreshments throughout the day on Saturday and have also been exhibiting some of Rufus’s paintings on their walls.
A self confessed newbie to publicity, Rufus says the inspiration for the event came from previous mural projects he had worked on before. It certainly seems that people and fluorescent paint just get on, surveying the buzzing activity on
Saturday lunch time, and the eye-achingly colour-covered results just before the gallery closed at midnight. Everything from doodles, to Brixton-themed landscapes to surreal floating eyes and mouths to verse made it onto the wall.
Rufus hopes that his gallery will be a space which involves and intrigues members of the local community, whilst still exhibiting and selling cutting-edge, sophisticated works of art.
You can see the community mural on display in Knight Webb Gallery,54 Atlantic Road, night and day, until Wednesday 6 February.
Ruth Waters can be found tweeting @MinimalismBlog