Soho Photography Quarter (SPQ)

Credit: Andreas Lechthaler Architecture | Artworks © Shirley Baker Estate

Soho Photography Quarter (SPQ)

Soho Photography Quarter (SPQ), is an exciting new cultural space presenting free open-air exhibitions and projections highlighting the very best of contemporary photography and ensuring they are accessible to the widest possible audiences, without barriers.

An initiative of The Photographers’ Gallery (TPG), in partnership with Westminster City Council,  Soho Photography Quarter is, due to fully launch in Spring 2022. 

Situated just off Oxford St, at the gateway to Soho, SPQ offers a beautifully designed pedestrianised environment, adjacent to the Gallery, which extends TPG’s acclaimed exhibition programme beyond the walls of the building. 

Mock up of people engaging with outdoor artworks

SPQ Programme Overview

Soho Photography Quarter’s artists’ commissions will introduce an exciting range of contemporary artists and projects to public audiences.

With a focus on solo artist presentations from new, developing or renowned British and international practitioners, this bi-yearly programme of large-scale, public realm artworks offers unique access and insight into some of the most innovative and dynamic ‘photographic’ practices today.  From those playing with, or subverting, traditional techniques, to those pushing the boundaries of digital technologies or working with performance and archives, SPQ provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience artists and works beyond the Gallery walls and instigates new forms of dialogue between audiences and works.

Running alongside the main displays, audiences can experience a rich series of additional activities (live and digital) aimed to further illuminate the works on show and the artists behind them. These will include artist talks, outdoor film screenings, digital commissions, interactive augmented reality projects, performances, workshops and smaller pop-up exhibitions in the space as well as changing and responsive digital content on TPG’s website.

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Through carefully curated, interlinked displays, which includes large-scale art friezes, and banners as well as moving image projections, SPQ offers audiences of all types and interests (photo lovers, culturally curious audiences, tourists, passers-by, locals and those who otherwise might not engage with photography) dynamic new ways to discover the medium.

Alongside the changing artworks, the Gallery will present a rich contextual programme of activities to enhance audiences understanding of, and engagement with, the works on display and bring them closer to the artists being shown and their approaches to the medium.  From live events, artist talks and presentations, short films, podcasts, AR projects and other audio-visual materials, accessibility to the ideas and inspirations behind the projects is a key part of SPQ’s offer. 

The ‘quarter’, designed by Andreas Lechthaler Architecture, is part of Westminster City Council’s ambitious £150m plans to invigorate Oxford Street and the surrounding areas and will include new seating areas, trees and planters, enhanced access for pedestrians and cyclists, improved safety and air quality and an enriched cultural offer for the district.