Froso Papadimitriou

The Greek artist is celebrated with a small exhibition at Deptford Lounge this month which is dedicated to the rich cultural history of this part of south-east London – and its size is in inverse proportion to the quality and impact of her pieces. The show, entitled  Invisible… But Omnipotent, is fantastically clever. Many of the artworks, created with white cotton thread on white cartridge paper, are instantly recognisable portraits of key figures from Deptford’s royal dockyard past such as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake. But there’s nothing remotely romantic about this exhibition because it concentrates on the dark side of the area’s history – the mysterious murder here of spy-turned-playwright Kit Marlowe, the appalling legacy of Sir John Hawkins, who set off for Africa from Deptford to invent the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade, the treachery of Captain Kidd, who set sail on the Thames as a respectable Royal Navy officer but soon reinvented himself as a notorious pirate, and the pioneering feminist and dyed-in-the-wool anarchist Kate Sharpley, who was arrested and beaten up by local police after she took the posthumous bravery medals awarded to her father and brother and threw them in Queen Mary’s face at a presentation ceremony as the First World War drew to a close. Rarely have I seen such an intense outpouring of outrage in such a confined space. See it while you can…

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