New art gallery in Forest Hill


Hi all,
I am looking to open an art gallery in Forest Hill, as we have a huge number of talented artists living in the area, but no permanent art gallery to show and sell their work.
I’m looking for any input from fellow Forest Hilliers - where do you think it should be, which artists would you like to see, would you be interested in events and classes?
I’m in the early planning spaces at present, I have some artists interested, and was thinking of looking into the old Waters greengrocers shop.
Any input gratefully received!


I think the Waters green grocers would be a great idea - or perhaps the old Crafty Beer shop opposite the station. That side of the tracks needs a bit of a boost. There are some great businesses there (Clapton Craft, Finches, The Artful Barbers to name a few), but it always feels a tad neglected. So anyone investing would be helping draw more people in.
I’d like to see lots of local artists - Supermundane and anyone on Havelock Walk would be good to have on show, as well as probably being good people to get more inspiration from.


I am glad you’re thinking of opening a gallery, which I am sure would be appreciated by many. I have some reservations about the Waters site, as it is small and has roads closely adjacent on two sides. If I’m looking at a painting I like to be able to step back and look from a distance, as well as close up.

Lots of sites currently empty. How about the Barclays site? Larger, and situated near the Forest Hill ‘arts centre’ of Dartmouth Road, London Road (Canvas and Cream), Havelock Walk.

If you also have the occasional reading and live music event, so much the better!


Thanks Westy, great to hear some love for the “wrong side of the tracks”!


Doesn’t Canvas & Cream have a gallery at the back or has it closed now? (been a long time since I’ve been in there)


Hi Devonish, thanks for your thoughts. I agree the Barclays site would be great, but I suspect it will be out of our budget. I will be taking to agents and landlords next week, so then I’ll have a better idea of feasible sites.


Hi armadillo, yes they still have the gallery, and they have some good exhibitions there. But I think the area would really benefit from a dedicated commercial gallery. We’d be advertising the artists’ work, holding launched and events, and offering art and craft courses too!


'Tis the best side of the tracks. If someone smart opened a fancy coffee shop on Perry Vale, they’d be quids in. A gallery would be a cracking centre of gravity to get more people venturing through the underpass.

Good luck with finding a venue where ever you end up though.


Love the idea of a gallery on Perry Vale! Agreed with DF that Waters is a bit busy and small but the windows let so much light in! I’ll definitely be popping in regardless of where you find yourselves. Good luck!


Thanks ametzelaar! I look forward to seeing you once we’re up and running :slight_smile:


Is the vacant Santander branch next to Havelock Walk available? Seems like a good location.


That’s actually a great idea, although might be treading on C&C’s toes somewhat?


Not if you bring something different to the mix. Then you would be complimentary


Does anyone here know who holds the lease for the Waters shop? I’m struggling to find out who to contact.


Inquire at Dawson Property Services 21 Perry Vale, Forest Hill, SE23 2NE 020 8291 9198


Thanks SE23 blue!


In the same way that Havelock Studios are all adjacent and create an attractive FH “arts district,” you might find that having two adjacent galleries attracts more punters, and from a wider catchment area.


Relevant to this, I understand the Perry Vale restaurant premises has been sold, although that’s all I know. Their alarm was sounding this week so when a neighbour called the owners’ other place, The Crooked Well (?), she was told they’d sold the property. Innnnnteresting…


There’s a unusual and surprisingly amazing shop opposite the Sylvan Post which was apparently under-offer to an art gallery owner last year. It’s got the narrowest frontage ever but, after the first 40 feet or so at only about 7 or 8 feet wide, it opens up into a very special ‘hall’ of a space with a ceiling height of 11 feet and a staircase down to a large basement with some more useful rooms.


Ooh, that sounds very intriguing. Not sure if it’s what we’re looking for, but I might try to arrange a viewing anyway