Kensington + Chelsea Art Week (KCAW) returns for its fifth edition, once again bringing the borough to life with exciting and immersive public art events. The vibrant celebration of culture across the borough is free and open to all, offering a diverse programme of public art installations, exhibits, murals, walking tours, events, talks and unexpected experiences in unusual locations. For summer 2022, the entire borough will be enriched with creativity across mediums revolving around the curatorial theme of Nourishment. KCAW brings together an extraordinary cross-section of unmissable art and culture in the heart of West London and will also focus on the local food and drinks culture.
KENSINGTON + CHELSEA PUBLIC ART TRAIL ALL SUMMER FROM 18th JUNE
The Opening of this year’s KCAW Art Trail is on the 18th of June, the day also marked by the annual Chelsea Arts Club Parade through the streets of Chelsea. Each Midsummer the artists of the Chelsea Arts Club, in extravagant fancy dress, gather at James Whistler’s statue on the Embankment to raise a glass to their founder, before following a parade band in procession back to the Club for their private Summer Ball. This year the Club will be holding ‘The Belle Epoque Lily Pond Ball’ – a theme which will be vividly portrayed on the Club’s façade in Old Church Street for the duration of KCAW.
Always a much-photographed event for London, the Public Art Trail will feature world-class sculpture, installations and exhibits throughout the borough. Past editions have included pieces by the likes of Alex Chinneck, Liz West, Zac Ové and Barnaby Barford. Presented across nine zones, the Art Trail will take up residence at some of West London’s most beautiful and iconic sites, including Napoleon Garden in Holland Park, Sloane Square, Duke of York Square, King’s Road Curve, Earl’s Court, Notting Hill Gate, North Kensington and Chelsea Physic Garden. The final line-up, which is chosen by an esteemed select committee via an annual Open Call, will be revealed in early June and full details of the participating artists, their work and where to find it will be available via the KCAW Digital Art Map.
KENSINGTON + CHELSEA ART WEEK 23rd JUNE – 3rd JULY 2022
Kicking off a week after the launch of the Public Art Trail, Kensington + Chelsea Art Week sees eleven days of art events hosted by galleries, artist studios, word-class museums, antique shops, and King’s Road retailers – with over 150 venues taking part. Visitors can expect to engage with emerging and established artists and cultural practitioners, take part in a variety of free workshops, art trails and tours – all coming together to celebrate the borough’s artistic richness. Once again, the Art Week welcomes some of the Borough’s finest venues and cultural spaces, with over 190 events held over 100 days. Some of the Art Week highlights confirmed so far include: High Street Windows – For the third year in a row, KCAW is collaborating with Sloane Stanley to create an exhibition that spans over 10 shopfront windows along the iconic King’s Road. Participating stores, restaurants, cafes and more will be displaying ground-breaking artworks by London’s most exciting emerging artists throughout Art Week, curated by Bella Bonner-Evans. For this year’s edition, the theme of Nourishment informs the curator’s approach – she seeks to enrich the High Street with a beautiful celebration of culture and creativity while helping to further the careers of young artists. For this esoteric project, retail spaces become pop-up contemporary art galleries and artists have the chance to reach new audiences and show their work in unique locations.
The public are invited to discover the up-and-coming artists to know and enjoy the High Street lit up with creativity. An annual happening during Art Week, the Freston Road Mural returns to W11 this summer. Curated by Bolanle Tajudeen, founder of Black Blossoms, a platform showcasing contemporary Black women and non-binary artists, the design for this captivating outdoor mural space will once again be voted for by the local community and live painted during the opening days of Art Week. The artists will be working to the event’s nourish theme and the notion of ‘rest’, with shortlisted designs unveiled in early June.
2022 sees the return of :
The Art Bus organised by The Galleries Association in partnership with Portobello Radio. In the company of local broadcaster Piers Thompson of Portobello Radio, an extraordinary experience of art and performance on a classic Routemaster Bus, guiding passengers through the backstreets of West London, whilst learning about the rich local history and counterculture. Designed to distil the area’s cultural highlights, the free bus tour allows art enthusiasts to connect with local gallery managers and artists. For this Art Week special on Saturday 2 July, the Art Bus takes visitors around the Public Art Trail locations. It’s hop on, hop off and not to be missed! Register here.
Quilt Patch – Artist Maya Sanbar presents an incredible installation made from recycled fabrics celebrating human expressions of happiness. Taking the form of stories quilted onto flags, it will hang from the Chelsea Theatre’s exterior and will surround the piazza from June to August 2022. Made collaboratively in cross-generational sewing and storytelling workshops, this artwork is a reminder of the creativity, shared wisdom, unique identities, and resonant voices of the participating communities. Supported by RBKC CLLL and The Muse Gallery.
Poetry Open Call – For the third year running KCAW is inviting local poets and spoken word artists to submit their work. In past years, poems have been displayed in shop and gallery windows, and on the digital culture map, as well as part of the public art project Words on the Hill at the Coronet Theatre. Entries range from local children to aspiring poetry performers including Alfie Lanham-Brown and Irene Odoardi.
Roller Coasters at Brompton Cemetery – Artist Lise Bouissiere will take over Brompton Cemetery’s memorial with a large-scale installation inspired by London’s cityscape, with the cranes overhanging the capital like giant insects. The sculpture is made of used straws that Bouissiere has been collecting in London’s bars, clubs, coffee shops and tea houses. These discarded pieces of plastic, that nature cannot digest, are transformed into blooming sculptures. Beyond the architectural inspiration, the composition also highlights the harmonies of shape and colour, as well as raising issues around the reuse of materials and the evolution of an item such as the straw within today’s environmental discussion. Commenting on the programme for KCAW22,
Organiser Vestalia Chilton,
“This year’s Art Week is a treasure trove of activities and discoveries! There is something for everyone. It has been a joy to work with new names from the art scene, with many Art Trail artists shown in the public space for the first time – it is key to our mission to support emerging artists as well as showcasing established names.”
Details of the Public Art Trail, plus further Art Week programming will be unveiled over the coming weeks. Stay updated by signing up for the KCAW weekly newsletter.
Read our interview with Vestalia Chilton Director of KCAW & KCAW Art Trail HERE
Cadogan – Principal Sponsor
Cadogan is a family business, property manager, investor and developer – with a 300-year history that informs its dynamic estate management approach today. As proud custodians of over 90 acres of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, their long-term stewardship aims to enrich the area’s unique character, while safeguarding its future vitality. cadogan.co.uk
Chelsea Windows Sponsor – With plenty of involvement in Chelsea’s art scene, Sloane Stanley gives back to the community with uplifting, inspiring and dedicated support. Involvement with the Kensington and Chelsea Art Week allows local artists to promote their pieces in their retailers’ windows across the estate. And, with continuous promotion of local talent, Sloane Stanley sponsors artists to install their art on the Chelsea Fire Station throughout the year. sloanestanley.com
The Design Museum
The Design Museum is devoted to contemporary design in every form, from architecture and fashion to graphics, product and industrial design. The Design Museum is proud to support KCAW Public Art Trail 2022. designmuseum.org
Festival Partner – The Great Exhibition Road Festival
The Great Exhibition Road Festival is a free annual celebration of science and the arts each summer in South Kensington and online. Explore the pioneering ideas, people and communities that are changing our world with a weekend of free events for all ages celebrating science and the arts in South Kensington. From 18-19 June 2022 Exhibition Road is transformed into a huge festival to explore the extraordinary, celebrating London’s trailblazing innovators, scientists, artists and designers and the everyday heroes who inspire us all. Enjoy hands-on creative workshops, fascinating talks, performances and installations from iconic museums, research and culture organisations this summer, including Imperial College London, the Royal Albert Hall, Science Museum, V&A, Natural History Museum and many more. greatexhibitionroadfestival.co.uk
RBKC Art Grant + KCAW Culture Map
This year will see the return of the #BLM Freston Road mural curated by KCAW Advisory Board Member, Bolanle Tajudeen the founder of Black Blossoms in collaboration with KCAW. The project is supported by RBKC Arts Grant Scheme. The digital Culture Map, featuring venues across the borough alongside unique digital content by local organisations and cultural leaders. The Culture Map will showcase local venues alongside Spoken Word content; information about local culture, heritage, and nature; curated themed tours; inviting users to explore the borough by walking, or remotely. This year, visitors to the Art Week will be able to explore venues, public art installation, and historical and cultural landmarks nearby, according to their interests and location. Visitors will also be able to explore the Public Art Trail and the Windows installations via the Culture Map, gaining access to exclusive content and more information about the installations, their site, and the artists who created them. The Culture Map is conceived as a digital extension of the originally planned KCAW Art Bus, connecting places of interest with Spoken Word and Film Recordings. The project was also supported by RBKC Arts Grant Scheme.
The Earls Court Development Company
The Earls Court Development Company is the new Earls Court-based business, responsible for driving the development of the Earls Court masterplan forward on behalf of Earls Court Partnership Limited. The Earls Court Partnership Limited owns The Earls Court Development Company and is the joint venture between Delancey (on behalf of its client fund and the Dutch pension fund manager, APG) and Transport for London (TfL). The majority interest in the site was acquired by Delancey (on behalf of its client fund and the Dutch pension fund manager, APG) in December 2019. The Earls Court Development Company’s ambition is to seek a new visionary masterplan for the site, that stitches the Earls Court back into its local area and sets a new global standard for a sustainable, vibrant mixed-use development. The Earls Court Development Company’s vision extends over an area of 40 acres. Following the handing back of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates (the estates) to London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the estates will not be included in the masterplan. There is now a clear opportunity for a fresh approach at Earls Court with the former exhibition centre sites cleared ready for development. Our programme of meanwhile and temporary uses for the land and derelict buildings we inherited will bring life back to parts of the site from this summer, with further announcements to be made in the coming months.
Kensington + Chelsea Art Week (KCAW) – A World of Culture in West London
Kensington + Chelsea Art Week has now established itself as one of the most exciting cultural events in London. Over 11 days every summer, the festival’s aim is to celebrate and promote Kensington and Chelsea as a cultural hotspot; to unveil the unexpected, highlight local spirit, and showcase an extraordinary cross section of art and culture throughout the borough. KCAW is the creative placemaking organisation behind the annual KCAW Public Art Trail and KCAW High Street Windows – a series of thought-provoking installations and murals strategically placed across Kensington and Chelsea to interact with the public in unique and unusual ways. Developed with community consultation in 2018, KCAW shines a spotlight on the area’s unexpected and unique cultural variety across a multitude of studios, museums, galleries, exhibition spaces and businesses, attracting local and international audiences to hundreds of cultural events and installations throughout the borough. @kcawlondon | #kcawlon | kcaw.co.uk