New arts venue pumps life back into abandoned White City petrol station

A disused petrol station in White City has been turned into an exciting new arts venue.

Elephant West, which sits close to the newly-refurbished Television Centre in Wood Lane, is a new home for emerging young artists to showcase their ground-breaking work. The venue also includes a workstation hub alongside a cafe and bar.

The creative space is run by art magazine, Elephant, and will also play host to a wide range of events such as film screenings, dance performances, panel discussions, inspirational talks, yoga classes, DJ nights, cocktail-making workshops and live radio broadcasts.

“Elephant West is a great addition to our already thriving arts scene,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for the Economy and the Arts.

“We want to make it even better and add more art venues to the borough as we strive to make H&F the best place to live, work and play in Europe.”

Elephant West is a result of the council’s Arts Strategy which aims to develop the borough into one of the leading arts destinations in the country.

The latest arts venue in the borough, which is just a short walk from White City underground station, also includes a workstation hub alongside a cafe and bar.

“Elephant’s tagline is ‘Life Through Art’ and, in keeping with that, the work produced at Elephant West will resonate thematically with the concerns of the wider world rather than the narrower interests of the ‘art world’. Elephant West will turn ordinary life into cutting-edge art,” said Elephant Creative Director, Robert Shore.

Elephant West is now showcasing the work of Polish artist Ramona Zoladek, who picked up the Elephant x Griffin Art Prize last week at the award ceremony in Wood Lane.

The Elephant x Griffin Art Prize is the UK’s premier art prize for recent graduates across a multitude of disciplines and identifies today’s outstanding and emerging talent.

Ramona, who graduated from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University, will have her work displayed until 13 January alongside the 10 other shortlisted artists who were nominated for the Elephant accolade.

It will be followed by a collaborative installation by Anna Liber Lewis, the winner of the Griffin Art Prize 2017, along with musician and solo artist Kieran Hebden, AKA Four Tet.

Alistair Shaw, MD of Television Centre and White City Place said: “Elephant West confirms that White City is now a cultural destination to rival east London. The transformation of a once forbidding and derelict petrol station into a thriving arts hub is the perfect indicator of the area’s reinvigoration.”

The Esso petrol station in Wood Lane closed in 2016 before international designers Craig Redman and Karl Maier initially revived the site with a public art installation. The ‘HERE AFTER’ show, which celebrated the site, was their first major public artwork in London. Chaka Khan then used the location to film the music video for the song ‘Like Sugar’.

Picture credit: Dirk Lindner

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