A much-loved art gallery in Brixton Village closed its doors on Monday after ten years trading in the in-door market.
Gallery proprietor Adrian Flower, 47, marked the end of an era at Studio 73 with an exhibit dedicated to his colleagues.
‘Trading Places’ showcased more than 30 portraits of market traders paying tribute to the diversity and fellowship among the Brixton businesses.
Flower decided to bow-out in part as a result of the changing nature of the market.
The portrait photographer and art gallery proprietor explained that Brixton Village, currently owned by property developers Hondo Enterprises, was more communal when he arrived in 2010.
Flower said: “It was a wicked time because it wasn’t just about business. There was a great camaraderie – there still is of course but it was more evident.
“It wasn’t a polished sort of thing. There was a lot more heart in it.”
Although last December was one of Studio 73’s biggest trading months Flower said he was tired of selling art.
“I’m tired of it [sales] being the main focus. I’ve done my time in here, whatever the climate. It’s time for me to try something new.”
Hondo Enterprises acquired the leaseholds and freeholds of Brixton Village and Market Row the in-door market west of Atlantic Road, in 2018.
The company also purchased Club 414 on Coldharbour Lane in 2019 and plans to build a 20-storey tower in the heart of Brixton on Pope’s Road.
The American-backed developers succumbed to pressure earlier this year when Brixton campaigners stopped the eviction of Nour Cash and Carry, a family-run grocer, from its Market Row location.
The Pope’s Road proposal is facing similar opposition.
Flower worries the new market ownership will change the social make-up of traders on the ground.
“In another 10 years they’ll just be managers here. There won’t be individual business owners.”
Since its opening Studio 73 has hosted emerging South London artists and creatives from Europe and the US.
Feature photo credit: Adrian Flower