Free Art And Events In Peckham Rye's Magnificent Old Waiting Room

By M@

Last Updated 06 June 2024

Free Art And Events In Peckham Rye's Magnificent Old Waiting Room
Inside Peckham Rye's abandoned waiting room
Image: Benedict O'Looney Architects

Hidden above Peckham Rye station is a grand old waiting room, closed to the public since 1965. It had fallen into disrepair and obscurity, but has recently found a new role as an occasional arts and events venue. One of the biggest is now upon us.

Making Connections is a community arts festival featuring film screenings, large-scale artworks, site-specific theatre, talks and workshops all within the distressed walls of the Old Waiting Room. Organised by Lost Text / Found Space, it's returning to the venue after a successful run last year.

Say the organisers:

Designed and directed by majority female, marginalised or under-represented artists, Making Connections focuses on community, care and social connection through creative experiences. The series highlights the importance of these narratives and the need to stand together in the face of adversity and conflict. Work presented explores how healing and solidarity have an impact on mental-wellbeing and our sense of belonging.

Highlights include:

- A large-scale, ghostly painting, in which exiled artist Pavel Otdelnov turns a jaded eye on his Russian hometown.

- A talk on the importance of intuition in a world full of algorithms.

- An immersive 360 degree dome film festival where you can "discover untold narratives of female, non-binary and non-human vulnerability".

- A panel discussion about the history and future of the Old Waiting Room, followed by "small, one-to-one conversations with strangers".

- A site-specific production of Noel Coward’s Still Lives, which inspired the film Brief Encounter.

More information about these events can be found on the Making Connections website, where you can also pick up tickets (many free).

Making Connections runs 1 June to 14 July 2024.