In this moment of global uncertainty, we believe in the uplifting spirit of collaboration, which is why we are bringing independent, East End galleries together for the second online edition of First Thursdays. This May we partnered with PUBLIC Gallery, Autograph, and SCAN Projects who have announced an exciting assembly of video content, digital openings, and virtual tours.

Lily Wong, Keep On Keeping On (Repetition), 2020, acrylic on paper, 46 x 61 cm. Courtesy the artist and PUBLIC Gallery.


PUBLIC Gallery

Presented as a standalone online experience, NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT brings together 52 artists responses to the current reality; forming a unique snapshot of how they process and question this unparalleled situation from their individual and shared perspectives.

These new works and videos span a wide range of media including drawing, painting, textiles, photography, video, and sculpture.

The environment in which art is being made has changed. For the time being, many artists are without access to their studios, regular materials, and like everybody else the ability to continue with their ‘everyday lives’. Yet artists adapt; now working in new spaces, using things at hand and with a newfound opportunity to experiment as all physical commitments are on hold.

When the world emerges from this state of limbo it will no doubt be different. In these new works, artists question the modes of life which have contributed to the current state of affairs, explore their own personal stories before, during, and after isolation, contemplate the defining challenges for cultures re-emerging from quarantine, and imagine new ways of living.

You can view all of the artists’ works and videos here.

Rose Nestler, The Weird Sisters, 2020. Courtesy the artist and PUBLIC Gallery.



Autograph presents A Different Way of Seeing, a new film created by young artists with autism and a broad spectrum of learning differences, challenging how people like themselves are represented in mainstream media.

Each three-screen video portrait features the artist speaking directly to the camera about their everyday life, flanked by shots of the places and things that inform their identity. Based in Hackney and aged 16 – 25, all of the filmmakers are members of Mouth That Roars, a youth media organisation.

Mouth That Roars was set up with the sole purpose of training young people in film production who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to media resources.

This project was due to be screened at Autograph as part of the UK-wide EXPLORERS Project, celebrating the extraordinary contribution neurodiverse people make to art and culture. Now you can watch it online.

Watch the full film here.

Film still from A Different Way of Seeing, 2020. Courtesy of MouthThat Roars / Autograph


SCAN (Spanish Contemporary Art Network) Projects

In an exciting collaboration between SCAN and INTERSTICIO, they are pleased to present ‘Where Water Rumbles | Metalloids’, a group show featuring works by Cristina Mejías, Christian Lagata, Fuentesal&Arenillas and an installation ‘in response’ by Esther Gatón.

Where Water Rumbles | Metalloids’ explores pathways of interpretation and intuition, adaptation, and response. The project does not pursue a specific form, but rather plurality and drift. Objects (from daily life) and artworks are assembled or arranged with the intention of provoking friction between them, of dissolving their initial meaning and triggering a new set of ideas without a preconceived binding principle.

A composition, a sketch or an idea can give rise to a dialogue that enriches the content and initiates the next step.

You can view the virtual exhibition here and the viewing room here.

Where Water Rumbles | Metalloids’ (2019), Exhibition View. Courtesy SCAN Projects.


On the first Thursday of every month, over 150 galleries in east London come together and run free events, exhibitions, talks and private views during a special late opening. Find out more about First Thursdays here.