Despite being a West London girl, one of my favourite places in London is Columbia Road.
It is now almost too famous and popular for its own good, and a mecca for those into “not on the high street” items: one shop offers 50’s style makeover, another sells and teaches patchwork techniques, followed by another one specialised in fountain pens and high end letter paper, all for your amusement.
You need to get up early on Sunday morning if you want to enjoy it fully. Aim to get there before 10, then grab a coffee and a slice of cake, or a bacon sandwich roll once there, enjoying the lovely road at its best. The atmosphere is beautiful, before the crowds inundate the space from 11 and linger until much later in the afternoon.
I prefer to go there on Saturday, when the road is not occupied by the market stalls and by wannabe photographers, so I can get the chance to browse the shops properly, paying a visit to the perfume master Angela Flanders (http://angelaflanders-perfumer.com) or the gallery Our House. In this little and quirky space I had the chance to see the latest show of Robina Doxi – a Swedish artist who I have been following closely for the last few years.
I bought one of her prints few years ago, and it has followed me through several house moves through the city and is now looking at me, sitting comfortably on one of the walls in the sitting room.
Her exhibition is a multisensory experience, involving sight and smell, and her works bravely aim to explore the human existence and our position within the universe, transferring her findings on a series of painting. Each piece of work can be interpreted in multiple ways, and even hung in two or more different ways. This approach allows the viewers to look at each work with a different perspective and invite them to play with the idea of other possible worlds, even taking a break from the real one, so often so intense and crowded. Exactly as Columbia Road on Sunday after 11.