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This video is part of our Word on the Street series. Word on the Street is an exciting new English Language teaching programme co-produced by the BBC and the British Council.
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Joe: London is famous for its vibrant art scene. It’s got some of the best art galleries in the world, among them the National Gallery, the Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and many more. They are here permanently; they are part of the London landscape. But not all our galleries are like that.
Now there’s a new kind of art gallery springing up – or popping up – in London. They’re set up quickly, enjoyed for a short time, maybe a few days or a week. And then they close again. They’re called pop-up art galleries.
All you need is an empty building, permission from the owner, some artists and then some visitors to pop in.
In London’s Covent Garden a new pop-up art gallery is being organised in an empty shop by Ryan Stanier.
Joe: Hi, Ryan!
Ryan: Hi, Joe.
Joe: You alright?
Ryan: Yes, good.
Joe: So Ryan, what are the advantages of a pop-up art gallery compared to a traditional gallery?
Ryan: Big, traditional galleries take on less artists when times are tough. Therefore it’s a good opportunity for a younger audience to actually see emerging artists.
Joe: And it’s good for visitors as well.
Ryan: Absolutely. It’s free to come in. We try and make an informal environment, making it very unintimidating and a nice buying environment to buy affordable art from young artists.
Joe: What can I help you with?
Ryan: Come inside and I’ll show you.
Ryan: Well, welcome to the gallery. As you can see there’s still a bit left to do.
Joe: Let me help you out.
Pop-up galleries are an example of people creating an opportunity during economic hard times. It’s a way of using buildings which would otherwise be empty.
OK, so that’s the hard work done. Now it’s time to see what’s on show.
London’s newest pop-up art gallery is finally open to the public. But what do they think of it?
Woman 1: Yeah, I think it’s really neat. It’s a good idea.
Man 1: Well, I think it’s a fantastic use of space.
Woman 2: It doesn’t look like it’s just been put up. It looks like it could have been here for quite a while.
Man 2: Yeah it’s very, sort of, you know, bright, colourful, in your face and it’s a good space to sort of go in.
Laura is one of the artists whose work is on display here.
Joe: Laura, most of these paintings here are yours. What was it that made you want to put your artwork in a pop-up art gallery?
Laura: Erm, it’s just a basically an excellent opportunity to be able to display work which I might not have been able to do in a more established gallery.
Joe: Has it helped you as an artist?
Laura: Definitely. I mean, for somebody who’s not established yet, it’s better to have the paintings in a shop than to have them at home still.
Joe: And you sell them here, don't you?
Joe: It’s been a great way to bring more art to more people and no doubt another one will be popping up soon.
Do you like going to art galleries? What's your favourite kind of art?
Would you like to go to a pop-up gallery?