BY Chris Waywell in Frieze London | 01 SEP 23

London According to: Freddie Powell from Ginny on Frederick

In a new series celebrating Frieze London’s 20th anniversary in 2023, we get a street-eye view of the capital from its gallerists

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BY Chris Waywell in Frieze London | 01 SEP 23

Located for now in a former sandwich bar next to Smithfield Meat Market in Clerkenwell (and retaining its signage), Freddie Powell’s gallery typifies a new breed of rough-around-the-edges, forward-facing galleries in the capital. Here’s Freddie’s lowdown on London. 

Eva Gold, Cowboys, 2022, installation view. Courtesy: the artist and Ginny on Frederick
Eva Gold, Cowboys, 2022, installation view at Ginny on Frederick. Courtesy: the artist and Ginny On Frederick

Favourite restaurant/café in your area? 

My best friend Abi Hill is the sous chef at Sessions Arts Club just up the road in Clerkenwell. Not only is the food insanely delicious, but they also rotate some really good art on the walls throughout. Most recently was a selection organised by local legends Hollybush Gardens and before that they had an impressive showing of Louis Newby’s work, organised by David Southard.  

After Charlotte Edey's opening at The Shakespeare
The Shakespeare after Charlotte Edey’s opening

Best pub near the gallery? 

The Shakespeare, on the edge of Golden Lane Estate. We do our drinks there after openings most of the time. It’s strictly old school but very charming and always a good time.  

Your favourite local business? 

Print Farringdon. Not all heroes wear capes.  

Best museum or gallery in London?  

Alexandra Metcalf took me to the Wellcome Collection when she was last in London. I can’t stop thinking about a Kia LaBeija photograph I saw in the permanent collection. I’m also a big fan of Vardaxoglou in Soho, Alex Vardaxoglou does really smart intergenerational programming and always wears an impeccable suit.  

Jack O'Brien, Auguste, 2023 at Gathering, London
Jack O’Brien, Auguste, 2023 from ‘Support Structures’ at Gathering, London

Favourite exhibition in London at the moment and the last exhibition you went to? 

I loved Lotus Laurie Kang’s show at Chisenhale – easily my favourite show of the year so far – obsessed with how it feels like she uses sunlight as the medium within the large scale photosensitive paper works and installation. I also recently saw ‘Support Structures’ at Gathering. Really impressive group of artists exploring bodily vulnerabilities. Jack O’Brien's large-scale sculpture work and Emanuel de Carvalho’s painting were the highlights.  

Hamish Pearch's dreamy studio
Hamish Pearch’s dreamy studio

Which emerging trend and/or artists excite you at the moment? 

I just visited Hamish Pearch’s studio in advance of his show at the gallery in November. I’m fascinated by how he is exploring – and exploding – form throughout his sculptures. Trends are terrifying and best ignored.  

Brunette Coleman
Brunette Coleman

What’s great about your gallery’s location?

I love being close to the Barbican – who wouldn’t?  Amanda Wilkinson also just opened a new space here, Brunette Coleman is a short walk away and South Parade is moving nearby in September. After being somewhat isolated, with few other spaces around, it’s exciting to have a new energy in the area.  

99 Charterhouse St - Ginny on Frederick's new location!
99 Charterhouse St – Ginny on Frederick’s new location!

Tell us about the concept behind your gallery and the kind of artists you look out for? 

Ginny was founded in a tiny old tiled sandwich shop, beautifully named ‘Sunset II’, as a weekend-only project space in 2021. We have grown up a little since then and are currently preparing to open a new space in mid-September just around the corner at 99 Charterhouse St. I’m sad to leave where it all started but ultimately excited to have more space and – finally – a little office of my own. I’m attracted to artists that are obsessive about what they do; I often find the best recommendations come from other artists on the programme as they always know what’s best.  

Scaffolding hiding the new Museum of London site
Scaffolding hiding the new Museum of London site

What changes have you seen in your local area since the gallery opened? What changes would you like to see in the future? 

Not too many, as I’ve only been here a few years but I’m pretty excited for the new Museum of London to open, eventually, in an old part of the meat market. The rest of the meat market is going to be moving to Essex (in 2026) and the City of London is apparently looking to turn it into a ‘cultural hub’. I have no idea what a ‘cultural hub’ is, but hopefully it’s somewhat useful and has affordable space to access for artists and creatives.  

What challenges are gallery owners/artists experiencing in your area?  

It’s quiet on the weekends, although the fancy new Elizabeth Line is helping with that. Sadly not too many artists are based around here, it’s quite a corporate area with stupidly high rents and minimal studios. We need some!  

What sets the London art scene apart from that of other cities (your local art scene in particular)? 

I’m not sure if London is better than anywhere else, but it’s home and I’m constantly surprised by the sheer scale of this city and the variety that comes within that geography.  

London's oldest house at 41,42 Cloth Fair
London's oldest house at 41/42 Cloth Fair

Why would you recommend in the area to art lovers new to London? 

Besides the fact you can come and visit Ginny’s new space – and all the other galleries I’ve mentioned – I just learned that the oldest residential house in London is also just across the market from us at 41/42 Cloth Fair. It’s apparently the only house in the City of London to have survived the Great Fire of London. It's somewhat easy to miss but a recent gallery visitor told me all about it and a spooky story that it's highly haunted and there are skeletons (!) built into the foundations.  

Worst thing about London? 

The insane lack of any rent control policies. Madness. 

Best thing about London? 

Anything related to Princess Diana. 

About

Ginny on Frederick is a gallery based in Farringdon, London founded in 2021. 

Ginny on Frederick, 91-93 Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HR. @ginnyonfrederick

Main image: Ginny on Frederick

Thumbnail Image: Daniel Sinsel at Ginny on Frederick

Chris Waywell is Senior Editor of Frieze Studios. He lives in London, UK.

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