Insider guide to London: Ellie Geary

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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.

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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