PLACES: London’s East End has always been an exciting area because of its little alleyways and hidden secrets. It’s latest addition, the tiniest and most haunted bookshop in the city, is a definite London must-see; that is, if you can find it.
Located right in the middle of the Black Rat Press Gallery, behind the garden of the chill-out Cargo bar, Black Dog Books is a cram, dimly-lit little room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves peppered with dead butterflies. At the entrance, an animated robot smokes a cigarette and kicks empty liquor bottles around, and occasional ghastly whispers move between the shelves and books. Quite a hair-raising experience on a quiet afternoon at Rivington Street. Click Read More for additional information and photos. Written by Su Hui Tan
Black Dog Books, designed by Giles Walker and Will Randall, who also exhibit their art at the gallery, is an oasis in the otherwise sparse gallery. The idea for this pop-up project originated when the owners of the Black Rat were haunted by ghostly disturbances one evening. A little bit of probing revealed the story of the legendary Victorian bookdealer F J Williams who disappeared mysteriously in 1903 and is said to haunt various pubs and houses around the East End.
By taking the project of a gallery bookshop and turning it into an art project in itself, Black Rat has created something quite extraordinary. Stocked with an interesting selection of art books, and modern classic literature, the bookshop is set to be one of the most interesting art and book events of the year. Surrounding the bookshop are the constantly changing exhibitions and installations of selected contemporary artists. In an almost poetic incongruity, the gallery has been transformed such that the vintage-style bookshop remains the only constant in the space.
Black Rat Press Ltd
thru Cargo Garden, Arch 461
83 Rivington Street