Insider guide to London: Ellie Geary

Ellie Geary 2 - ©jessybooncowler
Ellie Geary at London’s Garden Museum – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

This week’s London guide Ellie Geary is one of a new wave of young artists that have moved to south London over the past few years. She specialises in creating atmospheric collage pieces and has recently started working with video too. She also one half of Splitpin Projects (the other half being our photographer Jessy), art directing special projects and curating exhibitions and shows around the south of England. They’re currently working on an exhibition in Margate and will be hosting events as part of Camberwell Arts Festival this year.

Ellie Geary 1 - ©jessybooncowler
Ellie Geary at London’s Garden Museum – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

Ellie has only lived in London for two years, but has very much become a part of the city. She’s always hunting around for inspiration and finding new places to go.

“I like spending time in places with interesting story and sentiment and get inspiration from textiles, train journeys, photography, medieval art, animals and the contrast between the city and countryside,” she says.

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Ellie Geary at London’s Garden Museum – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler
DeliCate on the Cut
DeliCate on The Cut – picture via the very good London SE1 site

My favourite place for breakfast is Delicate on The Cut. It is a tiny place of great value and selection, sympathetically open for breakfast until 4pm, thank you. Be sure to ask for some of their freshly squeezed orange juice because it is amazing.

The Old School Yard is my favourite place to go for a night of non-stop dancing and purely ridiculous antics. There are games consoles, private karaoke rooms and pizzas named after each of the Ninja Turtles, and it’s really close to Borough station (in a direction that doesn’t take you to the sprawling mess that is Borough High Street on a Saturday night).

London Garden Museum
The restored Knot Garden at the Garden Museum – picture via Wikipedia

I go to the Garden Museum to relax and get my nature fix. Set in the medieval and Victorian church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, it feels modest and inviting with exhibition space, a garden shop and tearooms. As my mother works as a gardener, I like to pick up a postcard, a book or some seeds for her when I’m in.

For me, the best place to buy books has to be Quinto Bookshop on Charing Cross Road. Publications range from rather expensive but beautifully bound editions to second hand novels on sale for £1 at the front. You need time to rummage and explore downstairs amongst the dusty old art books too. I always find a bargain in there!

The Cross Bones Graveyard plaque
The Cross Bones Graveyard plaque – image via Wikipedia user ProfDeh

The Cross Bones cemetery gate is my recent historical discovery. Just off Southwark Street on Redcross Way, it is an old site of a mass grave for ‘The Outcast Dead’. I like that fact is it both macabre and wonderfully decorative. Attached to the gates are a myriad of messages, toys and tokens left by the public… always worth passing on route to Tate Modern.

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Ellie Geary at London’s Garden Museum – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

Insider guide to London: Georgia Collett

Georgia Collett, ©JessyBoonCowler
Georgia buying trinkets in Portobello Market – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

We first encountered this week’s London guide at a dance class in a pub in Queens Park and she instantly stood out as the best dressed woman in the room. Georgia always seemed to choose the perfect fabrics, prints and cuts; so it wasn’t too much of surprise to discover that she’s an alumni of the textiles degree course at the Royal College of Art – an institution that can lay claim to alumni including Erdem, Zandra Rhodes and Ossie Clark.

Her aesthetic –  clean modern shapes in a slightly retro colour scheme punctured with bursts of bright pink – is very much carried through to her home, which manages to be both incredibly stylish and incredibly welcoming (also a pretty good way to describe Georgia herself).
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Insider guide to London: Aquila Rose

Aquila by the Lea River, Tottenham Marshes, picture by Jessy Boon
Aquila by the Lea River, Tottenham Marshes, picture by Jessy Boon

You’d never guess that Aquila was a Yoga teacher at first glance – in Aztec-print leggings, cut off jeans, red lipstick, and cropped bleached blonde hair she looks like an east London artist. You might guess that she’s in a band though, and a very experimental audio-sensory band at that. Aquila began her career as a singer with radical choir group Gaggle, a rather impressive start. She now fronts her own music project, A History. But she’s also one of London’s more energetic Yoga teachers, swears by green juices and raw foods and emits positive vibes all over the place. If you want to know how the cool kids stay healthy in the big smoke or find yourself in east London in need of a big stretch, Aquila’s your woman.
Continue reading “Insider guide to London: Aquila Rose”