The Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury is a very unique venue. Billed as somewhere that provides a space for underground and avant garde media they specialise in sourcing rare movie footage, art brut, countercultural exhibitions and high art from unexpected places. So for instance I'm going to an exhibition about a city that only exists for one week per year, and earlier in the year went to a mini film festival of sorts which featured sci-fi underground cinema, just so you get a sense of how outside the norm it is. The Tate it isn't. but that's not why you're coming here, are you?
They also have a very sexy boutique fashion store annexed to it; called the Contemporary Wardrobe, featuring designs worn by kate moss, and all very edgy and urban in feel.
What a cool venue! Open heavy wooden door and walk down, down, down the sloping stones of a curvy and narrow hallway into a slightly damp smelling, stone floored room underground with artsy lighting and a projection screen. The exhibit up when I was there was a set of life-sized wooden sculptures of mythical monsters--actually pretty horrifying in that space. Really magical. I'd love to find an excuse to rent it out for something...maybe if I was planning on kidnapping someone.
I'm almost reluctant to post about this place. I want to keep it for myself, you see. So what can I say without giving it entirely away? The Horse Hospital prides itself on being London's true home of the avant-garde, and it certainly has a point. So far as ground level chaotic avant-garde activity in London there's not much doing, especially when compared with other European centres (i.e. Berlin). For those of us to whom the avant-garde is a kind of sustenance or lifeblood The Horse Hospital is a critical destination. Their programming is varied and crosses disciplines easily and regularly. The best, though, are the mini-festivals that pass through.
I mainly frequented this place as a film goer.. But find it a friendly, unusual venue that holds unique events, and screenings that you won't find anywhere else. Cons are that it can be a tad cramped, but I always enjoy visiting this venue.
The Horse Hospital is probably the best place in London to get your dose of Underground and Avantgarde media. I've been visiting this place since 2007 and hasn't been disappointed even once. The location, the atmosphere inside and the fact that it is situated inside a building that used to be a horse hospital back in the days makes it the most unique place in Bloomsbury.
Billed as 'a unique arts venue in London which has been providing a space for underground and avantgarde media since 1993' and unique is certainly the right way to sum up this venue. Tucked behind Russell Square station, this underground cavern is accessed by walking down a cobbled walkway that I presume horses used to canter down, could anyone verify this? A hidden charm, so keep this one a secret sssh!
The Horse Hospital was presumably an old horse hospital, or at least a stable, jutting out at the corner of a cobbled mews behind Russell Square tube station. It is usually closed, so check the website, and for a long time I wondered what was behind the opaque windows and ancient walls. Downstairs is a vintage clothes and costume hiring shop, rarely open as far as I'm aware, and very musty, filled with rows and rows of gorgeous gowns. Upstairs is a club, pop-culture venue, cinema, gallery, whatever avant-garde show takes its fancy. I went to an exhibition of Belfast street art there. A friend played their with his band to a backdrop of the original Godzilla film. If you are wealthy and wish to support them you can sponsor your own slab of stone flooring.
I only recently came across this underground cool venue. I loved it first time I went, for a private party, I didn't love it so much second time around. A bit too quiet, a bit too full of too cool for school people who were so trendy they weren't even trendy yet. Although, it is probably the last place in London where a cup of wine (yes, plastic cup, made me feel 17 again) costs £3. So that's a plus. It probably really depends on the do you go for here, but I do love it, for its originality and certain raw and real feel to it. Seems like a great venue for hire. Not too big, perfect location.
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