Birth of Cool exhibition

Thursday 29 July to Sunday 1 August at 508 Gallery, London, SW10 0LD

Weekdays 12-8pm and weekend 10am-4pm

An interactive history of Chelsea’s iconic King’s Road as part of the Birth of Cool – a digital and multimedia youth project organised by Octavia and funded by the National Lottery Heritage fund.

Relive the most memorable moments of the King’s Road through an interactive showcase of photos, films, fashion and creative writing all inspired by the local area. With all works featured made by local young people, the curated exhibition creatively re-imagines a defining period of history through the eyes of today’s youth.  

From King Charles’ waistcoat to the Mary Quant miniskirt, the idea of reinvention is built into the very fabric of the King’s Road. Home to the swinging 60’s style and Punk heyday, the area was at the epicentre of two worldwide cultural shifts. In the mix sixties, the south west street became a focal point and shop window for the new ‘swinging’ London, encompassing music, the visual arts, fashion and much more. It remained continuously at the forefront of developing trends through the following decade until it became the key breeding ground for punk, whose sound, look and attitude continue to shape global notions of youthful rebellion over forty years later.  

About Birth of Cool
Birth of Cool was a National Lottery heritage funded initiative run by Octavia, a homes, care and support provider based in west London. The holistic development and skills based training programme enabled 139 young people to work closely with design and media experts, gaining invaluable experience and industry knowledge, as well as opportunities to develop their technical and creative skills. Birth of Cool features two documentaries that were filmed, directed and produced in the area, including the award-winning ‘Punk Road’ that was selected for five film festivals worldwide.

About Octavia
Established in 1865, Octavia helps thousands of people in central and west London through providing affordable homes, support and care. We provide a range of support for people of all ages, through befriending, financial advice and help with training and employment. Our youth projects work with hundreds of young people every year, many seeking a career in the creative industries, nurturing growth through the exploration and encouragement of their skills and talents.

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