Situated on the infamous Columbia Road, the gallery is bursting with unique art from artists at the “forefront of the Street, Tattoo and Graphic art world”, and was one of the first spaces to exhibit Street Art internationally.
The gallery prides itself on maintaining strong relationships with the artists it exhibits, and often works in conjunction with them to create unique shows and special edition releases.
If you’re after a new addition to your home, or perhaps a special gift for a friend, then Nelly Duff is a great local option.
We interview Jessie Dyer, Nelly Duff founder, to find out more about this quirky gallery based on Columbia Road.
Q&A with Nelly Duff founder, Jessie Dyer
I opened Nelly Duff in the Autumn of 2006. I was returning to work after having my first child, I had previously worked as a fashion editor in a publishing company.
I travelled a lot and the working hours were impractical with a young baby, so I decided to start my own business.
The idea of an art gallery manifested itself when the space was found.
My partner Cassius worked producing TV promos at this point but he had a big interest in street art, which along with my own experience in curating imagery, and love of East London with all its magical graffiti and creativity, logically led me towards a gallery.
I wanted it to be accessible, plastered in artworks the way the streets were, as far from the overbearing white empty spaces typifying art galleries as could be.
We were at that point looking for a new home, we knew we wanted to be in E2, so we rented a flat on Hackney Road and waited.
Columbia Road was the dream, and we were lucky enough to get in before the market went crazy.
I remember the agent had lost the keys so we couldn’t see inside, though we knew it would go fast so we made an offer without even having been in.
It was pretty grim at first – it had been let out for a long time and needed a complete overhaul – but it proved to be the blank canvas we needed.
My favourite thing about the area is the community.
Something about it seems to attract the most wonderful mix of people living their lives in such an individual and interesting way, far less flashy and attention-hungry than most Londoners.
My friend runs a restaurant called Campania at the old Jones’ Dairy on Ezra street, you can’t beat her for coffee, made the proper Italian way.
The aim of Nelly Duff?
To bring the best of local and international contemporary art together in an accessible space at affordable prices.
We only show the artworks we love ourselves and keep everything fresh, so you will always see something new, different and exciting.
We attract a complete mix of demographics, one of the most fun things about working in the gallery is meeting everyone.
We have lots of regulars who we adore, both local and from other areas of London, but we also get a lot of tourists visiting the flower market who come in.
Find Nelly Duff
A: 156 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG
T: 0207 033 9683