Meet The Venue: London’s Serpentine Galleries

The city of London is known the world over for having some of the most diverse, contemporary and striking art galleries. Not only is it home to venues such as the Tate Modern, Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, but smaller locations such as the two Serpentine Galleries also call the capital their home. These two locations will be the focus of the latest instalment of our ‘Meet the Venue’ series.

An Introduction to The Serpentine Galleries

Located in London’s famed Hyde Park, The Serpentine is a hook-shaped lake that can be found towards the west of the park. The galleries can be found at either end of the bridge that crosses the lake, with a five-minute walk between the two. Towards the north is the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, and the south is the Serpentine Gallery.

Having opened in 1970, the Serpentine Gallery is housed in a Grade II listed building that was a former tea pavilion, built by James Grey West in 1933. Since 2000, an annual temporary summer pavilion has been commissioned by The Serpentine Gallery to display the work of a prominent or leading architect. The purpose of the display is to present the work of an architect or design team that hasn’t created a building structure in the UK at the time of the installation. Former exhibitors have included Ai Weiwei, Bjarke Ingels and Frank Gehry.

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery was an extension built in 2013 by Zaha Hadid Architects (who also were the debutant exhibitors at the summer pavilions), with the intention to breath fresh life into The Magazine, a Grade II listed former gunpowder store. The new space comprises of over 900 square meters of new gallery area, with additional space for a restaurant, shop and relaxed social area.

Events at The Serpentine Galleries

Not only a vital way for the galleries to generate more interest and raise awareness of their presence but also a great opportunity to bring people together, events are at the heart of The Serpentine Galleries. The events held at the galleries are diverse and cover all manner of topics.

Although the galleries are more commonly associated with visual art, music and audio based performances are frequent events with their Cos x Serpentine series. These can involve anything from a singular musical performance to an immersive sensory experience. Additionally, talks from artists and architects feature regularly on the calendar, along with talks from leading curators about the artists’ work.

Gallowglass at Serpentine Galleries

Our first event at the galleries took place in 2004, since then we have worked a cumulative 2,400 hours on site. Due to the venue’s location and layout, we always have to dedicate a lot of planning and time to marshalling traffic, allotting roughly 390 hours over the course of the different events. During our time working with the Serpentine venues, 170 different crew have planned, built, designed and played other important roles in the crewing of the events.

Some of our key skills used when crewing at this venue include deploying banksman to manage traffic, power tools and construction, scissor lift operators and drivers.

 

We are always on the lookout for potential crewmen with experience in these areas. If you think you have what it takes to work successfully within the Gallowglass crew, why not take a look at our event jobs in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham? You can also check out our blog for more information on the skills we look for when recruiting crew members.

 

 

About the author

Marketing Manager, Gallowglass Group

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