Hidden along Roman Road you can find Ginger White. At first glance, it seems to be a picture and photograph-framing store. However, now, it is running a series of monthly exhibitions that are designed to showcase and support local artists. On the first Thursday of every month, a new artist is revealed and the gallery space is cleared for an open evening to celebrate the new launch.
The Ginger White gallery choses to introduce the new artists on this date as it partakes in the ‘First Thursdays’ programme run by the Whitechapel Gallery. The Whitechapel is a nearby public art gallery that exhibits the work of contemporary artists as well as organising retrospective exhibitions and shows that are of interest to the local community. The First Thursday’s monthly event was especially created to allow you to ‘Explore galleries, artist run spaces and studios in London’. Over 150 galleries in East London take part by running free events, exhibitions and talks during the evening. Providing the perfect way to easily discover emerging artists, at no cost.
In particular, Ginger White showcases artwork that is fashion related; Gallery manager, Emily Jamieson, explained; ‘I usually feature artists who create artwork that is influenced by fashion, as I also work in the industry.’ As an example, a past exhibitor was Frida Wannerberger. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins, Wannerberger became a Fashion Illustrator and has formed an impressive client portfolio, including Gucci, ELLE, Harpers Bazar and London Fashion Week The Daily. Wannerberger stated; “I live close to Ginger White and taking part in this exhibition allowed me to get feedback from local people that might otherwise not have seen my work, it was such a nice thing to do.”
The next, new exhibition launch will take place on the 1st of June, 6-9pm. The Gallery will be revealing artwork created by BAAST, who creates colourful artwork predominantly inspired by textiles.
To keep up to date on the monthly artist announcements, follow Ginger White on Instagram: @gingerwhite_shop.
The Gallery Cafe
Vegan options at the centre of Bethnal Green
Praised by Veronica Origliasso from the pop duo, ‘The Veronicas’ (a renowned vegan) and dubbed as one of the Guardian’s Top 50 breakfast places in the UK this year, The Gallery Cafe has definitely gained a reputation in East London as a hot spot for vegan food. But does it live up to all the hype around it?
The cafe is run by St Margaret’s House, an East London community based charity spread across a number of venues with the aim of providing a wide range of projects that benefit the local community. They offer low cost and free events and workshops including yoga and dance classes, alongside low cost spaces for hire. These opportunities are made available partly because they are funded by the profits raised at the cafe.
Situated just a five-minute walk away from Bethnal Green tube station, it’s easily found by newcomers. If you’ve ever been into a Boston Tea Party, it’s the same kind of vibe. Fairly loud, but somehow people are being productive on their devices, using the free Wi-Fi and getting work done. When sitting inside, maybe you should sit away from the aggressive sounding blender. However, in the approaching warmer months, eating outside at one of the wooden tables could be enjoyable.
According to the assistant manager, Bob Sharples, the cafe does their best to “use all local produce. Everything on the menu Is vegan now, apart from the dairy milk for the coffees. We also make all cakes in house and all of the food is cooked fresh to order.” This aesthetically pleasing food combined with the black marble look tables makes for some great flat lays. Possibly making the Gallery Cafe one of the most Instagramable places in all of Bethnal Green.
Looking around, the interior is earthy coloured on top of white, reflecting the cafe’s promotion of a greener lifestyle and good wellbeing. Costume designer, India Arbuthnott describes the space as, “small and quaint, quite homely.” This feeling of homeliness is reinforced by the openness of the cafe, with the kitchen door being literally open, so customers can see enthusiastic members of staff through the kitchen door, preparing homemade healthy meals.
For a student budget, the meal prices could be argued as steep. However, for delicious vegan options, a friendly atmosphere and an attractive place enjoy your food, eating here definitely is not extortionate. A favourite among many is the classic vegan burger; a homemade pattie, topped with vegan cheese, fresh salad, homemade date and ginger relish and a gherkin and served in a sourdough bun, accompanied with fries. With a vegan diet often being critiqued as expensive, especially in London, £9 is not a bad price for a filling meal. If you wanted to spoil yourself even more, you could try one of their fresh juices.