An alternative way to enjoy the London Olympics

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The Independent Culture

With under 400 days to go until the start of the London Olympics 2012, we have seen east London being transformed to accommodate a newly built stadium, the nominations for Torchbearers are coming in and test events are underway.

The wait is becoming agonising and it appears the promise of a world-class event will become true, especially because it will not be purely for sports fans.

For those whose excitement has already started waning at the number of sporting events, the East London Art Exhibition launches on Thursday with an evening of exhibitions, events, music and performances followed by cultural trails, days out and events for all the family until Sunday 10 July. This will be a pilot scheme for a similar, larger-scale event in the run-up to the Olympics

Museums and galleries taking part include: Barbican Art Gallery, Chisenhale Gallery, Calvert 22, Museum of London, The Nunnery, Parasol Unit, Raven Row, Rivington place, V&A Museum of Childhood, White Cube, Whitechapel gallery and The Women’s Library.

The exhibition is part of a summer arts festival presenting over 200 homemade, world-class events profiling east London creativity. The purpose is to open your eyes to the diversity and innovation of the culture coming out of the east end with events taking place in most surprising of spaces: a disused motorway under croft in Hackney Wick, a WWII bunker in Dalston and a floating cinema on the waterways of east London.

Hadrian Garrard, Director of the Create festival: “With one year to go to the London 2012 Games, the Create festival is at the forefront of celebrating Europe’s largest cultural quarter with an extraordinary range of cultural experiences for all.”

East London Art Weekend runs from 7 July until 10 July. For more information visit