Step Inside The Smallest Gallery In Soho

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 21 months ago

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

Step Inside The Smallest Gallery In Soho
Small but perfectly formed.

Liam is in his 50s, he has lived in Soho for the last 30 years and is about to be evicted as the council has sold his flat to property developers — sounds like a Soho gentrification story we've heard many times over.

We step into his living room with antique furniture, his medication and postcards of the places he's been on the dresser, Hogarth prints in the corner and art books scattered all around. We sit in his armchair waiting for Liam to return.

Liam's travels adorn his dresser.

Only he never will, because this is an art project conceived by William Martin housed in the aptly named Smallest Gallery in Soho. It's a fun mix of references to the history of Soho with objects borrowed from local businesses and ceramic artworks created by Martin.

A ceramic harness references the sex industry of Soho while Pokemon characters on vases are inspired by Martin's own childhood. The pink walls are based on what was fashionable in old Georgian studies.

He's left his glasses behind and a chewed up cigar.

The more time we spend in this tiny gallery, the more we're drawn to all the fantastic little details, including newspapers on the floor, ceramic decorations copying the cornices we'd expect to find in period homes, and even poor Liam's glasses left on the drawer.

As we sit in his armchair and look out on to the street through pulled back curtains, it's a strange experience. We're watching the world go by on a busy street, but passers by either don't notice us or stare back at us as if we're on sale — we hasten to add it's not that kind of window.

Watch the people go by and most will ignore you - but be warned that some may engage.

The gallery is open to be viewed from the outside at any time but a free appointment may be made to go inside as well, we highly recommend being on both sides of the window as it's a different experience. If the artists happens to be around, he'll happily show you round and point out the little details many of us would miss.

This exhibition packs a lot in to a bijou space and the shows will keep changing every few months, so we look forward to stepping back inside, or just passing by outside.

Liam by William Martin is on at The Smallest Gallery in Soho, 62 Dean Street, W1D 4QF until late June 2018. Appointments to visit the space may be made by contacting the gallery.

Last Updated 22 May 2018