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New online platform puts London’s emerging art scene on the map—literally

Credit X has created digital map and database of less established art spaces and galleries in the hopes of balancing out an art world "shaped by market forces", it says

Jealous Gallery, London Courtesy of the gallery

A new online map and database charting London’s emerging art scene called Credit X has been launched “in an art world so easily defined by its established and blue-chip spaces”, say the founders. The new platform shines a light on artist-led spaces, young commercial galleries and other venues supporting emerging artists in the capital.

The initiative was set up by the contemporary art organisation Modern Forms and students and staff at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London) and Kingston School of Art, forming a collaboration called Credit.

“Credit sets out to ameliorate the intensifying inequalities and imbalances in an art world that is being increasingly shaped by market forces. We are inviting the more thoughtful and socially responsible elements of the blue-chip art world to join us in achieving that,” says Nick Hackworth, the curator at Modern Forms, which was founded by the UK financier Hussam Otaibi.

“Credit X is aimed at anyone within London’s varied art audiences who wants to explore the city’s emerging art scene, be they an art fan, an art student or an art collector. Its purpose is to make that easier and increase visibility for participating galleries,” Hackworth adds.

The online listing of galleries, platforms, talks and projects will continue to grow, with the hopes of forming a burgeoning network. The map on Credit X's website is split into "Galleries" and "Media & Platforms"; galleries currently listed include Bosse & Baum, Edel Assanti and All Mouth Gallery. The digital art platform Art Rabbit features in the Media section (participating organisations do not pay a listings fee).

Will Jarvis, the co-founder of the Sunday Painter gallery, says that Credit X is a much-needed resource, adding in a statement that it will “help to reinforce this hugely precarious tier within the fragmented but still interconnected ecology of the art world”.

Hackworth outlines the next steps for the Credit organisation which aims to create a group of supporters, comprising interested collectors, major galleries and auction houses. “The second [step] is seeing if we can help build a mutually supportive network of galleries and projects and see if there is scope for the emergence of a collective voice to advocate on behalf of the emerging art sector,” he says.