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A Tale of Two Southwarks

  • Roast Stoney Street London, England, SE1 United Kingdom (map)

A Tale of Two Southwarks is an exhibition of oil paintings, photographs and mixed media works by Suchi Chidambaram and John Pheasant.


Southwark’s ‘two cities’ - its glittering redevelopments with their thriving business sector on the one hand and the pockets of poverty and deprivation on the other - are well documented_.  The inspiration for the exhibition is the incisive report, ‘A Tale of Two Southwarks, A needs analysis of the London Borough of Southwark[1], to which Roast’s Founder, Iqbal Wahhab, referred Suchi early in 2017.

Southwark ‘is a product both of its rich history and a modern makeover.’  In forging its future, exclusion and isolation are seen as dangers, whilst ‘those most likely to feel a high sense of satisfaction are those who feel they belong to their neighbourhood’.

Inspired by the borough’s diversity, contrasts and challenges, Suchi, an oil painter, and John, a photographer, set out to capture the two Southwark's visually for an exhibition specifically designed for the space in Roast in Borough Market.  Their ambition is to encourage visitors to Roast to reflect on the borough’s diversity and contrasts, to engage with its challenges and, hopefully, to be part of the solution and to offer support to Southwark Giving.

The exhibition comprises oil paintings on canvas, photographs printed on aluminium and mixed media, jointly produced works which combine photography and oil painting to create images which draw attention to the diversity and contrasts which make the two Southwarks.

In selecting content for the exhibition, Suchi and John have sought to depict a number of the contrasts which underlie the Two Southwarks, including:

  — iconic old and new architecture

  — modern business areas and affluence juxtaposed with homelessness

  — demolition and regeneration

  — ethnic and cultural diversity

  — the vibrance of, and enthusiastic local support given to, community events

  — the historic and continuing traditions of art and entertainment

  — youth and age

  — Borough and East Street markets


[1] A Tale of Two Southwarks, A needs analysis of the London Borough of Southwark, researched and written by: The Researchery (Dr Catherine Walker) October 2016


Earlier Event: October 23
Challenging Perspectives
Later Event: June 4
55 East Street