Pop-up Galleries

There's more to London's art scene than just its world-famous galleries. Join Joe as he finds out about a new kind of gallery...

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to the Tasks and do the activities. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.

Preparation

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Where do you normally go to see art?
  • What venues display new art for sale in your country?
  • Why might artists like a smaller place to show their art?

Now watch Joe discover the world of pop-up galleries.

Transcript

Joe: London is famous for its vibrant art scene. It’s got some of the best art galleries in the world. Among them, the National Gallery... the Tate Britain... the National Portrait Gallery and many more. They are here permanently; they are part of the London landscape. But not all our galleries are like that.

Now there’s a new kind of art gallery springing up or popping up in London. They’re set up quickly, enjoyed for a short time, maybe a few days or a week. And then they close again. They’re called pop-up art galleries.

All you need is an empty building, permission from the owner, some artists and then some visitors to pop in.

…..

In London’s Covent Garden a new pop-up art gallery is being organised in an empty shop by Ryan Stanier.

Joe: Hi, Ryan.

Ryan: Hi, Joe.

Joe: You alright?

Ryan: Yes, good.

Joe: So Ryan, what are the advantages of a pop-up art gallery compared to a traditional gallery?

Ryan: Big, traditional galleries take on less artists when times are tough. Therefore it’s a good opportunity for a younger audience to actually see emerging artists.

Joe: And it’s good for visitors as well.

Ryan: Absolutely. It’s free to come in. We try and make an informal environment making it very unintimidating and a nice buying environment to buy affordable art from young artists.

Joe: What can I help you with?

Ryan: Come inside and I’ll show you.

.....

Ryan: Well, welcome to the gallery. As you can see, there’s still a bit left to do.

Joe: Let me help you out.

Pop-up galleries are an example of people creating an opportunity during economic hard times. It’s a way of using buildings which would otherwise be empty.

OK, so that’s the hard work done. Now it’s time to see what’s on show.

….

London’s newest pop-up art gallery is finally open to the public. But what do they think of it?

Woman 1: Yeah, I think it’s really neat. It’s a good idea.

Man 1: Well, I think it’s a fantastic use of space.

Woman 2: It doesn’t look like it’s just been put up. It looks like it could have been here for quite a while.

Man 2: Yeah, it’s a very, sort of, you know, bright, colourful, in your face and it’s a good space to sort of go in.

…..

Laura is one of the artists whose work is on display here.

Joe: Laura, most of these paintings here are yours. What was it that made you want to put your art work in a pop-up art gallery?

Laura: Erm, it’s just a basically an excellent opportunity to be able to display work which I might not have been able to do in a more established gallery.

Joe: Has it helped you as an artist?

Laura: Definitely. I mean, for somebody who’s not established yet, it’s better to have the paintings in a shop than to have them at home still.

Joe: And you sell them here, don't you?

Laura: Yes.

Joe: It’s been a great way to bring more art to more people and no doubt another one will be popping up soon.

Task 1

Answer the comprehension question.

Exercise

Task 2

Answer the true/false questions about pop-up galleries.

Exercise

Task 3

Choose the best adjective to complete each sentence. Check the Transcript if you are not sure.

Exercise

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Submitted by yuldus83 on Sat, 02/05/2020 - 11:34

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Hello everyone, in 2018 I had a chance to visit London and had been to one gallery don't remember the name but it was close to Bakhingam Palace, the paintings were very huge and remarkable, and all paintings were digitalized, that means visitors have an opportunity to see tiny images which would impossible to see even if you stare for several hours. I agree with that -London is famous for its vibrant art scene... that's true!

Submitted by fidaasiddig on Sun, 13/10/2019 - 14:13

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Hello (display work which I might not have been able to do) What the condition make it present perfect here?

Submitted by Kirk on Mon, 14/10/2019 - 07:40

In reply to by fidaasiddig

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Hello fidaasiddig

That is not the present perfect -- it is the modal verb 'might' with 'have' and a past participle -- see our Modals with 'have' page for an explanation of this grammar. Here Laura is speaking hypothetically about a possible future; she would perhaps not be able to display this work in other galleries.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by fidaasiddig on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 10:02

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(Sort of go in) go in seem like a noun what it means here

Hello fidaasiddig

This is informal speech. 'go in' is a phrasal verb that means 'enter' and 'sort of' basically means 'in some way' here. It suggests the man isn't completely sure about what he is saying.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by btriton on Mon, 04/06/2018 - 18:07

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Mi wife likes this type of art so much, and my daughter paints this type of pop up art, for my side only I like go together and discover all of these beautiful art.

Submitted by Adriancatanescu on Sun, 08/10/2017 - 11:10

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Good afternoon everyone, usually I go to see are in a gallery art but sometimes people display art in different spaces like an open space in the park sometimes in the lobby of the cinema sometimes in theaters' lobby and sometimes you can find a small Art Gallery even in the supermarket. But normally you find display the art in properly venues. Sometimes I saw pop-up Gallery like this one here and I don't understand what was the reason that they decided to make such a small art, but now have seeing this short movie and I understood why the artist decided to have such a small Art Gallery. Although the venues all the time it was somewhere in the center of the city or somewhere near to one of the Art University. I think the artist decided to display the art in a small place instead of the big place first thing I think is cheaper,and it's much more easier for one person that is has not established yet and at the beginning like another kind of start is really really hard to afford a big space. And the advantages for a small place are, the venue is not so intimidating and you can be closed from the people that they came in and you can speak with them about your art and you can be in touch easy with them because it's a small place and not so much people could come inside in the same time.

Submitted by STEPHANE ROTH on Thu, 23/03/2017 - 20:41

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Normally, I go to see art in museums, but it could be in streets or hotels, even in art websites. There are some art shops where we can buy paintings or sculptures in Noumea. Artists like a smaller place because they can share feelings more easily with people who turn up in there.

Submitted by Nizam Balinese on Fri, 03/02/2017 - 09:18

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Hi dear Team. Woman 2 : it doesn't look like it's just been put up. ============ " it's just been put up " It is passive voice, isn't it? It's here is an abbreviated form of it is, isn't it? =============== What about this one? " It's been a great way to bring more art to more people and no doubt another one will be popping up soon" What is abbreviation of it's here? It has or It is? Would you like to explain, please? Thank you.

Hello Nizam,

In the first sentence, yes, that is the passive voice. 'it's' is a contracted form of 'it has' – the complete verb is 'it has been put up'.

In the second sentence, it is the active voice. 'it's' is also a contracted form of 'it has', but the complete verb 'it has been' doesn't have a past participle, which shows us that it is the active voice, not the passive.

If you want to see more on this, see our active and passive voice page.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team