CLF Arts Cafe Aka The Bussey Building

A down to earth venue known as The CLF Art Cafe is opening its doors to more exciting events than ever before. This old multi level warehouse space, ‘The Bussey Building’, was converted into an arts centre with the help of Eileen Conn MBE, a member of Peckham vision. From fighting the sites’ demolition to three years of proving how important the space was to the community, they eventually gained TFLs planning permission for the current arts space. It is now protected by the Peckham Conversation Area.

The CLF A new Arts Lounge

CLF stands for the Chronic Love Foundation and the reason the building exists is also down to this foundation. The fundamental purpose of the CLF, established by creative arts entrepreneur Mickey smith, producer Marque Gilmore and barrister David Malone, is to create positive change on a global level through creative outreach. Seeking support from the likes of the BBC and Aardman Animation, the company was advised to go it alone and in doing so set up their own infrastructure; recognising its importance.

The CLF A new Arts Lounge

The CLF A new Arts Lounge

The CLF A new Arts Lounge

Events, music, film, theatre, installation and a number of other displays aim to educate and raise funds to obviate potentially solvable world problems such as treatable diseases and providing clean water to thousands. CLF are also developing their own television & film company and record label through their creative branches: Chronic NPD, Chronic Film, Chronic TV and Chronic Communities Projects.

The CLF A new Arts Lounge

One innovative play, the tragedy of Euripide’s The Bacchae, was performed by NEXUS Physical Theatre; a Higher Educational company at Nescot College. The group create “physically daring, emotionally engaging & visually stunning work.” The plot was about how the worship of god Dionysus was banned. This is a struggle to the death between freedom and restraint, the rational and irrational, man and god. The Nexus Ensemble brought this to life with an immersive theatre performance merging physical theatre, dance and polyphonic song. The striking neon colours, shadow play and innovative set was created by Theatre Designer Emma Terrell, who wanted to portray the energy and power of the characters.

The CLF A new Arts Lounge

A variety of plays have been held at The Bussey Building including work from The Brit School and The Panta Rei Theatre company, performing to sell out audiences. With 2014 being their busiest year to date, 2015 is already trumping that with many exciting things on the schedule.

 The CLF A new Arts Lounge

It is refreshing to find, in comparison to some, a small venue with such large ambition in solving societies key issues.

The CLF are also set to open a new Arts Lounge; a place for adults to socialise, relax and be entertained.

Words: Emma Rosling


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