Spring into summer with Nine Elms arts events

Published: Tuesday 7th May 19

A rich programme of arts and events is underway in Nine Elms with an exciting range of local and international artists, performances and festivals.

This year, artists are bringing over 20 events to the spring/summer programme for this growing Wandsworth neighbourhood on the banks of the Thames - from a walking boat sculpture to immersive one-person shows and a large-scale railway bridge redesign.

Running throughout London Craft Week, London Festival of Architecture and Wandsworth Arts Fringe, the exciting series of events in Nine Elms is set to attract visitors from across London – continuing Nine Elms' reputation for cultural events after last year’s hugely successful Art Night which drew 70,000 people across Nine Elms, Vauxhall and the South Bank.

Happy Street commission

In his first public commission, London designer Yinka Ilori is hosting art workshops for all ages and a solo exhibition in StudioRCA opening on 8 May, while transforming a railway underpass on Thessaly Road into a colourful 'Happy Street' concept inspired by sixteen types of happiness.

Ilori's design was commissioned by Wandsworth Council after being chosen by an expert panel with support from local residents, and is being created as part of London Festival of Architecture. On 13 July the community will come together to celebrate the new streetscape at a 'Happy Streets' festival for all the family. nineelmslondon.com/events/creating-happy-street

Meanwhile, artist James Capper has transformed a working Thames boat into Mudskipper, an amphibious mobile sculpture which will be in residency on the river in front of Battersea Power Station. The sculpture will be launched on 16 May and special public performances will be taking place along the Thames path from Battersea Park to St George Wharf at low tide in May and June. www.wandsworth.gov.uk/events/event/2975/james_cappers_walking_boat_mudskipper_on_the_thames

Making its full London premiere in Nine Elms, User Not Found is an acclaimed performance at CoffeeWorks next to Battersea Power Station (17 May-2 June). Examining the questions around our online identities after we die, the audience will be given headsets and a smartphone to become immersed in one man’s story as he’s faced with keeping or deleting his partner’s online existence. Tickets on sale from BAC www.bac.org.uk/content/45405/whats_on/whats_on/shows/user_not_found

Festivals, dance and music

Other highlights include workshops from Chocolate Films and Royal Academy of Dance, as well as South London choirs performances at Battersea Power Station as part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe (3-19 May). Take advantage of additional opening hours for Yinka Ilori’s Types of Happiness exhibition as part of London Craft Week (8-12 May), and see Nine Elms architecture from a different perspective on 4 and 8 June with a walking tour led by artist Luke M Walker during the London Festival of Architecture (1-30 June).

Plus, don’t miss the We Love Cheese Festival (11-12 May) and London Seafood Festival (12-16 June) bringing foodie heaven and family entertainment to Circus West Village at Battersea Power Station.

Full listings

Yinka Ilori’s Types of Happiness exhibition 

8 May to 23 June 2019, 12-6pm. Open Saturdays, Sundays and May half-term (27–31 May).

Additional opening times during London Craft Week - Wed 8 May and Fri 10 May 12-6pm, plus extended opening Sun 12 May from 10am.

A solo exhibition from London-based designer Yinka Ilori, inspired by Ilori's first public commission to redesign the Thessaly Road underpass in Nine Elms. The exhibition of re-loved story-led furniture explores the art of sitting down and the 16 different types of happiness incorporated into his Happy Street underpass design.

Free. StudioRCA, 1 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5AU. nineelmslondon.com/events/creating-happy-street

We Love Cheese festival

Saturday 11 May (12pm – 6pm) and Sunday 12 May (11am-5pm) 

Get cheesy at this free food festival at Battersea Power Station’s Circus West Village. 

Enjoy street food, special menus and cheese sellers, and meet some of the country’s top cheese producers and importers. Throughout the weekend, guests can head to the ‘Battersea Bites’ tent for a curated programme of talks and masterclasses including matching cheeses with wines or beers. Out on the piazza check out live music performances, a craft area for little ones and the return of the Wheel of Cheese to be in with a chance of winning special prizes. There will also be a wine fair led by Battersea Power Station’s urban winery and kitchen, Vagabond, complete with wine sessions.

Free. Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, SW11 8AB. batterseapowerstation.co.uk/whats-on/detail/we-love-cheese

Chocolate Films media studio workshops

Saturday 11 May, 10.30am-5pm

Learn from the professional filmmakers at a day of workshops for all ages. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Free, booking required. Please book your preferred time slot by emailing at info@chocolatefilmsworkshops.co.uk or calling 0207 793 4287. 

Battersea Power Station Heritage and Learning Hub, Battersea Power Station Circus West, Nine Elms, SW11 8AB

WildCity Big Art Picnic

Saturday 11 May, 12.30pm–4.30pm

Picnic with WildCity and create a giant, interactive box world. A playful, collaborative construction of towers, tunnels and boxed spaces creating Heathbrook Park’s own cityscape. Bring a picnic, blanket, family and friends and enjoy creating art in the great outdoors.

Supported by Wandsworth Arts Fringe through Wandsworth Grant Fund.

Free. Suitable for all ages. Heathbrook Park, St Rule Street, SW8 3EL. nineelmslondon.com/events/hidden-heathbrook/wild-city-big-art-picnic

South London Choirs at Circus West Village

Saturday 11 May, Sunday 12 May, Saturday 18 May and Sunday 19 May, 12pm-12.30pm, 2pm-2.30pm, 4pm-4.30pm

Enjoy free performances of music from pop to classical and jazz from community choirs across south London.

Free. Battersea Power Station (Riverside Piazza), SW11 8AB. www.wandsworthfringe.com/whats-on-2019/south-london-choirs-at-circus-west-village

‘Colour in your own Happy Street bridge’ drop-in family workshop

Sunday 12 May, 2pm-6pm

All the family are invited to meet the artist behind the Thessaly Road bridge redesign and have a go at colouring in their own version of the Happy Street bridge. Suitable for ages 4 upwards.

Free. StudioRCA, 1 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5AU. nineelmslondon.com/events/creating-happy-street

Get a Taste for Dance

Tuesday 14 May, 11am-12pm (for toddlers 2 ½ upwards and carers), 1pm-2pm (musical theatre and jazz class for age 55+), 4pm-5pm (explore Narnia for ages 5-8), 5pm-6pm (explore Narnia for ages 9-11).

Royal Academy of Dance leads free themed taster sessions taught by highly experienced tutors. 

Free, booking required – call 020 7326 8000 or info@rad.org.uk St George’s Church, Patmore Street, Battersea, SW8 4JD

James Capper’s MUDSKIPPER sculpture

Thursday 16 May to Sunday 16 June – moored at Battersea Power Station pier

Performance times:

Thursday 16 May, 6.30pm – Thames path near London Peace Pagoda Battersea Park, SW11 3NJ

Saturday 25 May, 11.45am - Thames path near London Peace Pagoda Battersea Park, SW11 3NJ

Thursday 30 May, 5pm – Thames path near The Riverside, Hamilton House, 5 St George Wharf, SW8 2LE

Sunday 9 June, 12pm - Thames path near The Riverside, Hamilton House, 5 St George Wharf, SW8 2LE

Monday 10 June, 1pm – Thames path near Nine Elms Pavilion (opp US Embassy), Riverside Walk, SW8 5DF

Artist James Capper has transformed a working Thames boat into a walking sculpture. See the amphibious sculpture emerge from the Thames onto the foreshore using two step-type propulsion legs. 

Free. nineelmslondon.com/events/james-capper-walking-ship-performance-on-the-thames

User Not Found

Friday 17 May to Sunday 2 June, various times 

‘User Not Found’ explores what happens to our digital identities after we die. The performance takes place in CoffeeWorks Project right next to Battersea Power Station: audience members receive a smartphone and a pair of headphones and are immersed in one man’s story as he’s faced with keeping or deleting his partner’s online existence. A story of contemporary grief unfolds through this intimate, funny performance.

The CoffeeWorks Project, Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, SW11 8AB. Tickets at www.bac.org.uk

‘Build your Happy Place’ family drop-in workshop

Tuesday 21 May, 4pm-8pm

Residents in the Thessaly Road and Nine Elms area are invited to a workshop where they can have a go at building a ‘happy place’ creation using mini-modular pieces. Run by Red Deer architects, the practice working with artist Yinka Ilori to bring Thessaly Road’s Happy Street bridge design to life.

Free, places allocated on first come first served basis. StudioRCA, 1 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5AU. nineelmslondon.com/events/creating-happy-street

‘Colour and pattern’ half-term workshops

Tuesday 28 May, 11am-12.30pm (for ages 5-7) and 1.30pm-3pm (for ages 8+)

Families from the Thessaly Road and Nine Elms area are invited to hear the designer Yinka Ilori talk about how he uses colour and pattern and join him in a hands-on workshop where you can design your own pattern.

Free. ROSE community centre, Ascalon Street, Battersea, SW8 4AN. nineelmslondon.com/events/creating-happy-street

Nine Elms architecture walk 

Tuesday 4 June at 6pm and Saturday 8 June at 11am

Join artist Luke M Walker for a walk around Nine Elms as he explores the evolving architecture of the area. The walk is an opportunity to explore local architecture on foot from an artist's point of view, guided by Walker who is a local resident.

Tickets £6 at nineelmslondon.com/arts-and-culture

Meet at Battersea Power Station Heritage and Learning Hub, Battersea Power Station Circus West, Nine Elms, SW11 8AB nineelmslondon.com/events/nine-elms-architecture-walk

London Seafood Festival 2019

Wednesday 12 June to Sunday 16 June, times vary

Bring the family down over the weekend for live music, cooking demos, street food and entertainment for children on the riverfront piazza, or take part in masterclasses and enjoy festival menus inside restaurants, bars and shops all week.

Battersea Power Station, Circus West Village, Sopwith Way, Nine Elms, SW11 8AB


Happy Streets Festival 

Saturday 13 July, 12pm to 6pm 

Celebrate the colourful redesign of Thessaly Road rail underpass at a free festival for the whole family. Join in with arts workshops, listen to live music and watch performances.

St George’s School playground & ROSE Community Centre and garden, Ascalon Street, SW8 4AN. nineelmslondon.com/events/creating-happy-street

About James Capper's MUDSKIPPER sculpture

James Capper's mobile public sculpture MUDSKIPPER is the Battersea Power Station Powerhouse Commission for 2019. MUDSKIPPER is co-commissioned in 2019 in partnership with Battersea Power Station, Nine Elms on the South Bank and The Royal Docks; it is produced by Illuminate Productions. Albion Barn acquired the original workboat with James Capper and published the MUDSKIPPER maquette. The project is also supported by Arts Council England, Hannah Barry Gallery, Perkins Engines and Thames Clippers, with additional support from the Science Museum Group.