1. Zabludowicz Collection
2. Cob Gallery
3. Spring Projects

Best gallery was an interesting one. Whilst many of you were headstrong in your opinion, a good few were foxed by the category. (‘Call me a philistine’, quipped Mark, Conrad and several others.) We thought you all read The Kentishtowner? Oh, you do…

Happily, votes did come in for the Freespace Gallery, Leighton Space, Flaxon Ptootch, Mario’s, the Beardsmore, and photographer Rankin’s iconic Annroy building, shaped like a roll of film.

But in 3rd place is Spring Projects, the vast 3000 sq ft white gallery space beneath Spring Studios currently hosting the first solo show by Petros Chrisostomou (ends tomorrow).

Our new gallery of the year takes 2nd place, the brilliant Cob, which also had some inspired shows & pop-ups, like the excellent Guts For Garters. Be quick for its current show Anatomy which ends Dec 23.

And in at #1 – by a long way – is, of course, the Zabludowicz Collection. Housed in an atmospheric Victorian Methodist Chapel renovated by the team behind The Tea Building in Shoreditch, Zabludowicz hosts some seriously innovative contemporary art. And yet there’s nothing clinical about either the exterior or interior, which both exude a careful sense of history and place. ‘Brilliant curator, amazing building, great snacks,’ said Michael Ptootch, one of many fans praising their work.

‘2012 is looking to be another exciting one for us,’ says director Elizabeth Neilson. ‘We’ve been open five years and are really getting into our stride with the exhibition and events programme – as well as the regular large-scale international exhibitions we’re launching a new strand of our programme called ‘Zabludowicz Collection Invites’ focussed on UK artists who are not represented by a commercial gallery. This means we’ll be open all year round, café, shop and library included.’

Good news for sure. You can read more about the programme here.

Agree or disagree?

Tomorrow: Best Independent Shop
Words & Pictures: Stephen Emms

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