Spotlight on…………………………………. The Photographers’ Gallery

3 Aug

Here at Purple Grape we’re always on the lookout for venues to work with that have that something special, that extra wow factor that can help to create a truly stunning event. So, with that in mind, we thought we’d use this ‘Spotlight On……’ blog to take a look at one of our favourite such venues, The Photographers’ Gallery.

Photographers' Gallery exterior rooftop

The Photographers’ Gallery venue space. Photo Credit to Dennis Gilbert 2016

Founded in 1971 in a converted Lyon’s Tea Bar in Covent Garden by Sue Davies OBE, it was the first gallery in the world to be devoted solely to photography and the opening exhibition was ‘The Concerned Photographer’ curated by Cornell Capa (a leading photojournalist and brother of war photographer Robert Capa). The gallery expanded in 1980 having acquired an additional space, allowing the addition of a bookshop and café along with a print sales room.

Four decades later (in 2012 to be precise), the gallery moved to its current Soho location on Ramillies Street, a minutes’ walk from Oxford Circus. The redevelopment of the 1910 warehouse building allowed the gallery to extend its ambitions and activities even further and to become the venue we know and love today! The current building offers three world-class exhibition spaces, a dedicated education and learning studio, a digital media wall, an enhanced area for the bookshop and Print Sales (including a gallery) as well as a lovely café area.

The exhibition spaces really are stunning and amazingly versatile and that’s partly what makes the venue so wonderful for events – the gallery doesn’t have a permanent collection and when the exhibitions change (around four times a year) the layout of each floor changes quite dramatically with them, so much so that you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in a different space each time you visit!

Purple Grape Catering Sea Bass event dinner

Purple Grape Catering Sea Bass, soy sauce meringue and glass noodles meal

These spaces are available to hire each evening once the gallery has closed to the public and they’re perfect for drinks and canape receptions either on one floor or spread out over different exhibitions for larger numbers. You can even hold an intimate dinner in the gallery – imagine dining surrounded by all of the stunning photography……… combine that with a delicious (if we do say so ourselves) menu from Purple Grape and it would certainly be an evening to remember.

The Eranda studio, a non-gallery space on the third floor, is available to hire during the day – the ‘blank canvas’ style setting is perfect for press launches where you want the product to shine but the space is also ideal for seminars and presentations since it’s fully AV equipped! The half day/ full day hiring options mean that the day can be tailored to fit your needs – why not have a morning meeting, followed by a tasty Purple Grape lunch and then allow your guests to spend the afternoon exploring the exhibitions? Sounds like a brilliant day to us!

All in all, we think the Photographers’ Gallery is pretty special. What’s more, and we’re sure you’ll agree, between the gallery’s beautiful spaces and our chefs’ amazing food…we think we make a pretty good team – and we can’t wait for our next event there!