The Raw Materials exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery delves into the industrial history of the River Lea valley weaving together its past and present makers.

The first in a series of Raw Materials exhibitions at the Nunnery Gallery, which will delve into the history of the local River Lea valley through the ‘raw materials’ that paved the way for the area’s extensive and important industrial development. Beginning with the material wood, the exhibition will bring together archival objects – many of which are not usually on public display from photographs to cabinet-makers tools, painting a vivid picture of this important, and increasingly less-visible, part of east London’s history. Follow wood on it’s journey from London’s docks to timber yards and furniture factories that once aligned the River Lea.

Alongside this fascinating collection of archival objects will sit contemporary makers bringing the past and present. A thrilling new sculpture by artist Silke Dettmers explores the wonder of what she found during her residency:

“This project had its origin in a factual, historical inquiry. As the ‘resident artist’ and someone with an interest in ‘Wonder’ and the surreal, I took the liberty to look out for the unusual, for what was beyond the strictly ‘real’, for collisions of past and present. And I was not to be disappointed!” (Silke Dettmers)

Curious cabinets created by the Building Crafts College students demonstrating contemporary craft routed in traditional woodworking methods will also be on show weaving together the past and present.

The exhibition would not have been possible without the work and research by the Raw Materials local Community Steering Group and the generous grant support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Foundation for Future London.

Event details

Gallery Open: Tuesday-Sunday
(Closed Monday)
FREE entry

The Carmelite Cafe sits alongside the cafe serving delicious food and drinks.

Address:181 Bow Road, Bow, London, E3 2SJ

Nunnery Gallery