198 Gallery in Brixton was developed in response to the episodes of social unrest in the area in the 1980s. As a homage to cultural solidarity in the face of political dissatisfaction at the time, the gallery was initially known as Roots Community. In the years since its inception 198 has grown from a community arts space into an exciting contemporary visual arts body that supports new talent and has proven to be, on many occasions, the first place to see the next rising star of the London art scene. For a comparatively small space its significance should not be underestimated, during its history it has played an important part in the nurturing of the British Black Arts movement.
Today it continues to show political and social issue-based art work for culturally diverse audiences, and remains committed to promoting learning and understanding through its programme of exhibitions, events and workshops. Although off the beaten track from the large national galleries, 198 is no less an important part of London’s artistic heritage and will not disappoint.