Coming up at Departure Lounge!

Luton, 24 June 2020

We are delighted to be launching our new programme featuring artist commissions, digital takeovers and exhibitions displayed in the gallery’s prominent windows on Bute Street. Take a look at our programme below and be sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates. 
Idit Elia Nathan: Draw Me a Home
13 July – 16 August 2020Based on Luton’s rich history of migration, and the artist’s own rootless heritage, Draw Me a Home explores ideas of home, belonging, movement and transformation. Inspired by conversations and encounters across Luton and on social media, Idit is developing new works, which examine how the unprecedented and sudden changes imposed by the Coronavirus outbreak have fundamentally changed our understanding of ‘home’, blurred the differences between work and leisure, and made it difficult to differentiate between one day and another.
Haley Morris-Cafiero: Invisible in Plain Sight
7 September - 10 October 2020With a back catalogue that includes some of the most significant work to have emerged in international photography over the past 5-10 years, Belfast-based Haley Morris-Cafiero’s recent projects include Wait Watchers – an interrogation of questions around body image and difference - and The Bully Pulpit, a disturbing examination of the depths to which online bullies will stoop to exploit differences and perceived weaknesses.

Haley is hugely inspired by Luton’s diversity. Observing that while the town’s many different communities live side by side they are often invisible to each other, Haley will make a new series of works examining ‘invisibility’.
Thomas Mailaender: Splendid Isolation
15 October – 28 November 2020Thomas Mailaender is known for appropriating images from the internet or his own huge archive creating curious, creative conjunctions, which teem with humour and originality. In this project Thomas will examine the idea of isolation as it has existed since the invention of photography and more recently, the internet. As part of this process, and inspired by the Coronavirus lockdown, Departure Lounge’s local and international audience will be invited to contribute their impressions of isolation.
Abi Spendlove: Underfoot
3 - 19 December 2020Building on her exhibition Tributary, shown at Departure Lounge in 2017, Luton-based artist Abi Spendlove will develop her concern with water generally, and the river Lea specifically, by undertaking special training to survey the underground culverts through which the river flows, mostly unnoticed, underneath Lutonians’ feet.

Abi Spendlove’s approach to – conceptually and actually – turning the city inside out and making the unnoticed visible is one of the outputs of her sojourn as artist-in-residence at the Hat Factory, and is supported by the Luton Arts Fund
We are hugely grateful to Arts Council England for an award under its Emergency Funding programme and to National Lottery players for making this possible. We hope to resume regular programming and welcome visitors into the gallery from early December 2020.

Departure Lounge Awarded Emergency Funds by Arts Council England
Luton, 20 May 2020

We are delighted to announce that Arts Council England has awarded Departure Lounge a grant under its COVID 19 emergency funding scheme. This secures the gallery’s immediate survival, and is a very welcome vote of confidence in our programming and the value of a contemporary international visual arts offer in Luton.

Accordingly, we want to say thank you to Arts Council England, to our partners The Culture Trust Luton and most of all to National Lottery players for making it possible.

Our emphasis over the coming months will be to stabilise the gallery, to deliver some of the planned and already funded programme (when it’s safe to do so) and to develop a new digital programming, which we hope will become fully formed exhibitions later in the year.

Digitally, and eventually in person, we look forward to your company on the journey.

The Departure Lounge Team

Temporary Gallery Closure
Luton, 19 March 2020

Following the UK Government’s advice Departure Lounge has made the decision to close the gallery temporarily effective Thursday March 19, 2020. In response to increasing concerns about the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

We will continually monitor the situation and will provide updates on our current exhibition, the future programme and plans to re-open as soon as there is more clarity on when it is safe to operate. Like other art galleries and museums, we sincerely regret having to take this decision and any inconvenience this causes.

Your continued support and understanding during these difficult times is very much appreciated.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
13.00 - 18.00


64 Bute Street,
Luton, LU1 2EY

In partnership with The Culture Trust Luton

In order to ensure the safety of our staff and audience members, we kindly ask all visitors to:
  • Wear a face covering
  • Maintain 2 meters social distance from other visitors and staff
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided before entering the gallery space
  • Check-in via the NHS Test and Trace app

︎    ︎    ︎

Departure Lounge Contemporary Art
Community Interest Company
Registered company no. 12578844