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Bow Cross residents in exhibition


'Bow Cross' is the culmination of Simon Terrill’s one-year artist residency developed by Acme Studios with the support of the Swan Foundation. Based around Swan Housing Group’s major regeneration project at Bow Cross, London, E3, the exhibition is made up of three parts: a mural-sized photograph, a video and a book. Together the works form a contemporary account of a street and the people who live there.

On 10 September 2011, all the residents of Bow Cross were invited to take part in an epic photographic portrait that was shot on a large format film camera amidst film lighting, smoke machines and an ice cream van. While the stage was set, the participants were free to choose how and where they wished to present themselves within the final image. Exhibited beside the photograph, a video work extends this captured event into a revealing flight past friends, families and neighbours as they fill the street from dusk until nightfall, anticipating the next frame.

The accompanying book, to be launched at the opening, includes donated personal historical photographs from residents alongside images from inside the wreckage of detritus filling the last of the three towers in the street to undergo refurbishment.

Simon Terrill’s work offers a meditation on regeneration and its temporal effects on the physicality and identity of a street.

'Bow Cross'
Saturday 17 December 2011
Rainhill Way Centre, Bow, E3 3EY

New studios at Oaks Park


Acme Studios will be developing a further seven studios at Oaks Park in South West London. Since 1992, Acme has managed studios in a converted stable block in the park and we will be converting further buildings into studios which will open in May 2012. We are asking artists who are interested to send an email containing contact details to

For more information on the scheme, including location and target rent levels, please see the attached PDF.

HAT Projects to design new affordable artists' studios


Architecture practice HAT Projects has been appointed by the High House Production Park Limited (a subsidiary of Thurrock Development Corporation) to lead the professional team designing the High House Artists’ Studios, the next phase of the High House Production Park development in Purfleet, Essex.

The £2m project, developed in a partnership by HHPP and Acme Studios, will create over 40 affordable artists’ studios and work-live units, including project spaces for large-scale making and public showing of work. It will form part of a growing campus which includes the Royal Opera House Production Workshop and the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills, as well as the restored listed buildings and gardens of High House itself.

Matthew Essex, Assistant Director of Delivery (Major Projects) at HHPP, said, ‘The artists’ studios are the fourth phase of the High House Production Park development and will be critical in continuing the high quality standards of the earlier phases. HAT Projects impressed us with the experience they brought from other projects and their understanding of our own requirements and we’re looking forward to working with their dynamic team on such an exciting project.’

Jonathan Harvey, Chief Executive of Acme Studios, said, ‘We know from their previous work that HAT Projects bring passion, creativity and intellectual rigour to all their work. This is a wonderful and important opportunity for us to develop our provision of artists’ studios by working with a practice that has already shown such a keen understanding of artists’ needs. We relish the prospect of the challenging and creative dialogue with the client and design team which will now ensue.’

Tom Grieve, co-director of HAT Projects said, ‘We are thrilled to be working with HHPP and Acme to build on the success of the Production Park to date, and Acme’s unique understanding of artists’ needs built on decades of managing and developing affordable studio space. New-build studio complexes are few and far between, so we are excited about exploring a new typology in this fascinating location.’

The £2m project will be the subject of an Arts Council England capital funding bid to be submitted in December, and is anticipated to open in 2013.

Artist's Book Launch and Talk


Lily of Blythenhale is an artist’s book, which tells a multilayered visual story by Jessica Wilkes Award holder Andro Semeiko. The images and texts in Lily of Blythenhale can be seen as illustrations of each other as well as randomly assembled articles. The book has been created in collaboration with Daniel Harbour, cognitive scientist specialising in language, Norman Hogg, artist, writer and curator, Neil Mulholland, art historian and art critic, Dushko Petrovich, artist and writer, Arron Sands, artist, writer and curator, and Shelley von Strunckel, astrologer and writer. It is published by Acme Studios.

The publication reflects on ideas of knowledge acquisition, power and chivalry. It contains images of marine paintings with Turneresque treatment of light referring to old sketches and maps of the East coast and the Thames. Portraits borrow poses and gestures from van Dyke’s work, and architectural paintings refer to Inigo Jones’ Paladian buildings in the capital and his decorative French fleur-de-lis railings.

Andro Semeiko is a Russo-Georgian now resident in the UK and the book is another dimension of his current exhibition Lily of Blythenhale at the Acme Project Space. The installation tells a story through painting, drawing, sculpture and archival material working as props for a mise-en-scène.

The Lily of Blythenhale book will be launched during the exhibition at the Acme Project Space and will be accompanied by a talk on chivalry/raindoba in Georgian culture and history given by Donald Rayfield Professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary University.
A Russian samovar will be laid out and Georgian tea and cakes will be served.

Artist’s Book Launch and Talk
Saturday 3 December 15.00 - 17.00
Talk by Donald Rayfield at 16.00

Lily of Blythenhale
Andro Semeiko
Acme Project Space
11 November - 11 December 2011
Opening hours: 13.00 - 18.00 Thursday – Sunday

Andro Semeiko is the third recipient of the Jessica Wilkes Award; a major professional development opportunity established by Acme Studios and Jessica’s family and friends to celebrate the life of former Acme tenant Jessica Wilkes who died in 2006. The year-long award provides an artist with a free studio and grant to enable them to devote more of their time to their studio practice. The award, worth £10,000, is made to an artist selected from applications from current Acme studio tenants.

Fire Station Work/Live Residency


Acme Studios is offering a three-year work/live residency as part of its Fire Station Residency Programme in East London.

In 2010, twelve artists were selected from a national submission for the five-year programme. One of the original artists is leaving to take up another opportunity and as a result Acme has created a three-year residency which will run from 1 March 2012 until February 2015.

Located in a former fire station bought in 1997 and converted with funding from the National Lottery and other sources, the programme is one of the most directly supportive schemes for artists in the United Kingdom, providing combined studio and living space at low rents.

The fixed-term residency scheme is intended to allow artists more time to concentrate on the development of their work and professional careers, and less time working to survive.

Artists aged 23 or over (on 1 November 2011) from anywhere in the UK may apply. The rent for the 550 sq ft work/live unit is £460 per month plus council tax and electricity.

This combined living and working space, for single occupation, will be let to an artist selected from open submission. Applicants will need to demonstrate economic need and how the opportunity will benefit their creative practice.

For information and to make an online application visit:

Deadline: 16 December 2011

We cannot deal with any telephone enquiries unless, as a disabled person, this will prevent you from applying. In this event please contact Jack Fortescue on T 020-8981 6811, E

Vortex concert and CD launch


Celebrating the release of his new CD ‘In Motion’ alto saxophonist François Carrier is joined by drummer Michel Lambert and double bassist John Edwards for an evening of spontaneous lyrical abstract music (free jazz) at The Vortex on 6 December.

François is currently on a six-month Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec London residency managed by Acme Studios International Residencies Programme. He was awarded the Juno Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in March 2001 for his Compassion album on Naxos Jazz. During his 30-year musical career, François has released 22 CDs and played in numerous jazz festivals.

‘In Motion’ Concert/CD Launch
The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
Tuesday 6 December
Doors open at 8pm, music at 8.30pm
Free Entry

'Lily of Blythenhale' Andro Semeiko


A new exhibition at the Acme Project Space nods to medieval Bethnal Green when the area was little more than forest and swamp known as Blythenhale. Jessica Wilkes Award holder Andro Semeiko’s Lily of Blythenhale tells a story about little princess Lily who finds a dragon’s tooth in the forest…; introduces noble knight Simon de Montfort, forefather of parliamentary democracy, who inherits the forest and creates a secret society called Lily of Blythenhale…; uncovers the history of a brush factory, that stood on the very spot where the current gallery is located, producing combs for an unusual ritual...

The exhibition is constructed as a multilayered visual story told through painting, drawing, sculpture and archival material working as props for a mise-en-scène. Each object in the show balances on the edge of being an illustration from the story, and an unconnected entity in its own right. The exhibition creates a space where the view shifts between harmonious construct and random assemblage.

Andro Semeiko is the third recipient of the Jessica Wilkes Award; a major professional development opportunity established by Acme Studios and Jessica’s family and friends to celebrate the life of former Acme tenant Jessica Wilkes who died in 2006. The year-long award provides an artist with a free studio and grant to enable them to devote more of their time to their studio practice. The award, worth £10,000, is made to an artist selected from applications from current Acme studio tenants.

11 November - 11 December 2011

Opening hours: 13.00 - 18.00 Thursday - Sunday

Private view: Thursday 10 November 18.30 - 21.00

Artist Book Launch and Talk: Saturday 3 December 15.00 - 17.00

Award holders exhibit complementary abstract paintings


A new exhibition at the Acme Project Space brings together the work of artists Rose Davey and Sarah Poots. The two artists shared adjacent studios during year-long graduate awards with Acme Studios and were offered the opportunity of a joint exhibition at the culmination of the programme.

Both painters are influenced by the language of abstraction; however each artist deals with this in a very different way. Davey’s focus is on the geometric, where proportion, materiality, and surface all refer back to the painting itself. Remnants of the outside world are more visible in Poots' paintings with recognisable forms remaining in the geometric.

Rose Davey, a graduate from the Slade School of Fine Art, is the 9th recipient of the Adrian Carruthers Award and Sarah Poots, a graduate from the Royal Academy Schools, is the recipient of the Chadwell Award in its inaugural year. These annual awards for MA graduates, providing rent-free studios, bursaries and professional mentoring, have been developed and supported by individuals in partnership with Acme Studios.

The awards are part of an expanding programme for recent graduates based in studios at Acme’s Childers Street building in Deptford, SE8.

8 - 30 October 2011

Thursday to Sunday 12 noon to 6pm

Private view Friday 7 October 2011, 7pm-9pm

Acme Project Space, 44 Bonner Road, London, E2 9JS

Acme artists' open their studios


Artists at two Acme Studios buildings will be opening their studios to the public over the next two weekends.

Over 30 artists will be involved in the Childers Street Open Studios as part of Deptford X. The studios will be open on Friday 23 September 6pm-9pm and on Saturday 24 September and Sunday 25 September between 12 noon and 6pm. For more information, visit the Deptford X website -

The following weekend sees the launch of Art NW10 London's newest open studios event which was set up by artists at Acme's Harrow Road studios. The event includes five artist studio buildings and over 50 artists on Saturday 1 October and Sunday 2 October 1pm - 6pm. For more information about the event, visit To find out more about the participating artists, visit

Artists' archive unearths the creative history of the Olympic Park


UNEARTHED – Creative remains of a brownfield site’ by Neville Gabie and artists from Carpenters Road Studios

An archive exhibition is set to reveal how a brownfield site in a once-hidden corner of East London was home to a major artist building providing studios for 500 artists during the 1980s and 90s. Acme Studios managed Carpenters Road studios in Stratford, E15 from 1985 to 2001, at its time the largest artists’ studio building in Europe until the aging Yardley’s Perfume factory was demolished to make way for the redevelopment of the 2012 Olympic Park.

Sarah Weir, Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy for the Olympic Delivery Authority explains, ‘Standing next to the new Aquatics Centre, it’s incredible to think that artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Grayson Perry, Fiona Banner, Jordan Baseman and numerous others were working as relative unknown artists on this exact site only a matter of years ago.’

Uncovering this unique period in the history of the East End, a public exhibition of the archive will be held in Warton House, Stratford 3-11 September 2011. Working with Acme Studios, InSite Arts and archaeologist Jim Dixon, ODA Artist in Residence Neville Gabie explains the purpose and nature of the artist archive: ‘I am keen to make visible the conceptual thinking and creative works inspired by the experience of being based in the Carpenters Road Studios. What was the impact on the artists who used them and the ideas generated by the experience of this specific piece of London? We are collating notebooks, memories, photographic records, film and video installations, sculpture and painting, which document the influence of this.'

Adorned with its distinctive ‘lavender lady’ mural, Warton House is a much-loved local landmark and was originally the office for the Carpenters Road factory. Next year, 27 permanent affordable artists’ studios will be created in Warton House for Acme ensuring a continued artistic presence in E15. Jonathan Harvey, CEO Acme Studios explains: ‘The area is completely unrecognisable from when we managed studios here and Neville’s project captures the unique nature of being an artist at that particular time and place. This project will ensure that the creative impact of this location is preserved and the creation of new high-quality permanent studios will guarantee that this area continues to benefit for years to come.’

Exhibition runs: 3-11 September 2011 – 10am-4pm

For more information visit

101 Harmless Scientific Experiments To Try At Home


We Colonised The Moon will be installing a brand new laboratory entitled ‘101 Harmless Scientific Experiments To Try At Home’ at the Acme Project Space this summer. For six weeks between 11 August and 25 September they will be investigating and inventing solutions for anti-gravity, time machines and holding auditions for astronauts.

We Colonised The Moon comprises Acme Fire Station artist Sue Corke and collaborator Hagen Betzwieser (Germany). Together they explore an idiosyncratic world view based on popular science, flexible wikipedia knowledge, graphical illustrations and various display formats. The gap between evidence and experience is the point of departure for their work at the Acme Project Space in London where they will be exploring homemade scientific discovery.

21 August and 4 September will be ‘Super Sundays’ with events specifically aimed at families. The nature of these events will grow out of the experiments which take place in the preceding week so visit for updates nearer the time.

New Development Officer joins Acme to help expand our support programmes for artists


Acme Studios is delighted to announce that Sam Tilling has begun her new role as Development Officer at Acme Studios. Sam joins us from Southbank Centre where she was previously Research Manager in their Development team. At Acme her role will include researching evidence of the impact of our work, expanding our supporters’ database and developing and implementing our long-term fundraising strategy. She will also be supporting the board and staff team, including commissioning artists to create new projects, to celebrate Acme’s 40th anniversary year from November 2012.

Sam joins us at an exciting juncture in our history, not only when we are expanding our portfolio of permanent, high-quality and affordable studios for artists but also our major Residencies, Awards and Community Programme. In an uncertain time for the arts, Sam’s development role will build on Acme’s secure and carefully-built foundations to further consolidate our position as the leading studio development organisation in England.

Latest artists to receive major graduate awards announced


Four graduate artists will begin year-long studio awards at Acme Studios’ Childers Street building in Deptford, London in September 2011. The selected artists receive a cash bursary, professional input from galleries and mentoring, as well as a rent-free, self-contained studio. The adjoining, purpose-built studios are designed to naturally promote peer support and the awards have been carefully developed with Acme’s partners to provide a valuable and effective bridge between college and professional practice.

  • Luke McCreadie from The Slade School of Art has been selected for the Adrian Carruthers Award by Slade Director Susan Collins, Head of Postgraduate Media Jayne Parker, Head of Postgraduate Painting Lisa Milroy, Head of Postgraduate Sculpture Ed Allington and external artist/critic Martin Coomer.
  • Josie Cockram from Camberwell College of Arts has been selected for the inaugural Camberwell Studio Award by Acme Studios’ Residency and Projects Manger Julia Lancaster and Associate Dean of Camberwell College Tamiko O’Brien.
  • Anna Moderato from Chelsea College of Art and Design has been selected for the Chelsea Studio Award by Acme Studios’ Chief Executive Jonathan Harvey and BEARSPACE Director Julia Alvarez.
  • An artist for the Chadwell Award will be selected from applicants graduating in September from MA courses at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Wimbledon College of Art.

Although the aims of the awards are similar, each award has been developed uniquely taking into account the partners involved and the initial impetus of the award.

The Adrian Carruthers Award is the result of a legacy from a previous Acme tenant and graduate of Slade School of Art. The Camberwell Award grew out of discussions with the college about ways of continuing to support graduating artists. The Chelsea Studio Award was initiated by two second-year students at Chelsea School of Art and is supported by the Chelsea Arts Club Trust. The Chadwell Award was created in partnership with philanthropist art collectors Andrew Post and Mary Aylmer.

These awards form part of Acme Studios’ Residency, Awards and Community Programme which will this year support over 30 artists. One of the most extensive and direct means of support to artists in the UK, our awards and residencies build on Acme’s belief that providing artists with time and space is fundamental to supporting the development of contemporary fine art practice.

Tom Polo 'DISAPPOINTED' at the Acme Project Space


DISAPPOINTED WITH MANY PEOPLE & THINGS continues Tom Polo's use of text, humour and extensions of portraiture to engage with a corrosive anxiety with the human condition and the genres of self help and motivation. The exhibition at the Acme Project Space runs from Thursday 7 July to Sunday 11 July and explores contemporary society’s inherent desire for success and hints at our ever present failings, influenced by what is deemed 'good' against 'bad'

The opening night will feature a new painting performance developed during the artist's time in London.

In 2010, Tom was the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts London studio residency hosted by Acme Studios. DISAPPOINTED WITH MANY PEOPLE & THINGS is his first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom.

Fire Station artist's success in Venice


Congratulations to Acme Fire Station artist Haroon Mirza who was yesterday awarded the Silver Lion for best artist under 40 for his sound installations at the Venice Biennale. Haroon is one of 12 artists on Acme Studios’ Fire Station Work/Live Programme which provides artists with combined studio and living space at low rents for five years.

Along with seven other Acme artists, Haroon’s work can be seen in the forthcoming ‘Sum Parts’ exhibition at the Acme Project Space, 10 – 26 June 2011.

Private view: Thursday 9 June, 6pm - 8 pm

Artist's plaque celebrates fire station's first 100 years


On Saturday 21 May, Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Limehouse and Poplar) unveiled a specially-commissioned plaque by former Fire Station artist Ben Cove to celebrate the centenary of the formal opening of the building in Gillender Street, Poplar, E14.

As he unveiled the plaque, former fireman Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “As a Fire Station, this building played an important role in the history of Tower Hamlets, throughout the Second World War and beyond. I’m delighted to see its continued use as a unique opportunity for emerging artists. Acme’s work in securing buildings for use as affordable studios not only benefits the artists who use them but also the wider community.”

Since 1997, the fire station has been home to Acme Studios’ Work/Live Programme for artists, one of the UK’s most directly supportive artist residency programmes. Following the unveiling, Jim Fitzpatrick joined Bruce Epsly, Borough Commander Tower Hamlets - London Fire Brigade, in a tour of the building where they met artists Kate Aktin and David Osbaldeston. Speaking at the unveiling, Jonathan Harvey, Chief Executive Acme Studios said:

“During our time here, we have come to appreciate that this had previously been both a home to the firemen and their families as well as a serious working environment, and indeed this is what it has become again for the artists on our residency programme. We very much hope that our use, in its own way, will also contribute to wider public benefit, so different of course in nature from the building’s original purpose, but perhaps no less necessary or valuable. We feel privileged to be the custodians of this building and delighted to celebrate its centenary.”

The plaque on the front of the building is visible from the Blackwall Tunnel and reads:

The first 100 years
1911 - 2011
In celebration of the firemen and firewomen who bravely served
our community and the artists who now fire our imaginations
Unveiled by Jim Fitzpatrick MP (Poplar and Limehouse) on 21 May 2011
Since 1997 the home of Acme Studios’ Fire Station Work/Live Programme

The unveiling preceded a weekend of open studios featuring the 12 Work/Live Residency artists plus three artists in the ground floor studio units. Members of the public had an opportunity to report ‘non-emergencies’ at Emma Smith’s unit, play ping-pong with Gemma Anderson, see George Charman’s unit transformed into a camera obscura, watch Matthew Noel-Tod’s specially created video piece and listen live to Melanie Clifford’s sound installation which was broadcast live on Resonance 104.4FM. The public were also able to see inside the work/live units of Briony Anderson, Sue Corke, Jonathan Baldock and Robin Footitt, and the studios of Richard Ducker, Julie Umerle and Andre Wallace.

Acme Residency artists make up 'Sum Parts'


Curated by first year students on the MA Curating Contemporary Art (inspire) Royal College of Art, ‘Sum Parts’ brings together work by eight contemporary artists currently on residencies at Acme Studios.

Briony Anderson / Paul McGee (Fire Station Work/Live), George Charman (Fire Station Work/Live), Amy Gee (Chelsea Studio Award), Adam Knight, Haroon Mirza (Fire Station Work/Live), Emma Smith (Fire Station Work/Live) and K. Yoland (Southwark Studio Residency).

Inspired by the Penrose Triangle the exhibition explores how we might comprehend something as a whole while simultaneously understanding its composite parts. The artists included in ‘Sum Parts’ articulate the various complexities and possibilities of this idea, through works in a variety of media from sound installation and film, to photography and performance.

Acme Project Space: 44 Bonner Road, London, E2 9JS

Private view: Thursday 9 June, 6pm - 8 pm

Open from 10 - 26 June, Thursday - Sunday, 12 - 6pm

Free Admission

UNEARTHED - Carpenters Road Studios


The creative remains of a brownfield site

UNEARTHED is a new project by Neville Gabie, the Olympic Delivery Authority’s Artist in Residence on the Olympic Park. UNEARTHED seeks to reveal the cultural history of the Carpenters Road artists' studios in the former Yardley’s perfume factory, which now rests underneath the Aquatics Centre. These studios were managed by Acme and home to 500 artists between 1985 and 2001. A collaboration between Insite Arts, Acme, and many of the artists, UNEARTHED will be presented as an archive hosted by Ardmore Construction at Warton House, Yardley’s former offices in Stratford High Street in September 2011.

We would very much like to invite as many previous Carpenters Road artists to be involved as possible, those whose work has been influenced by their experience of Carpenters Road but also simply to generate an opportunity for a gathering or artists with a past relationship with the studios.

If you were involved, or know someone who was involved with the Carpenters Road studios, we would very much like to hear from you.

For more information, please visit

Matchmakers Wharf Public Art Commission


Telford Homes Plc and Acme Studios are offering the opportunity for an artist (or more than one artist if working collaboratively) to undertake a permanent commission at Matchmakers Wharf, Telford Homes’ new mixed-use development due to be ready for occupation from June 2012.

Matchmakers Wharf, currently under construction on the site of the Lesney Matchbox Toys Factory, is situated on the River Lee Navigation close to the Olympic Park and will consist of over 200 homes, offices, shops, commercial space and 49 purpose-designed artists’ studios to be owned and managed by Acme.

The value of the commission is a maximum of £30,000 (to include fee, material, fabrication and installation costs). A separate budget will cover the costs of associated site preparation and the integration / landscaping of the commissioned work into the site.

Selection of the proposal will be via a two-stage process, with artists submitting indicative proposals by 17 June 2011 from which three proposals will be funded for further development. Artists selected for the second stage will receive a fee of £500 and be required to submit their detailed proposals by 5 August 2011.

The selection panel will include representatives from Telford Homes Plc, Acme Studios, Stock Woolstencroft (architects) and Standerwick Land Design (landscape architects).

The work will be completed and launched in May 2012.

For more information on how to apply, please see the attached pdf or visit:

The Extinction Club at Foyles


The Extinction Club
Friday 10th June 2011 - 6pm to 8pm
The Gallery, Foyles,
113-119 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EB.

Award-winning Canadian author Jeffrey Moore reads from his latest novel The Extinction Club, discussing his writing process and themes from the novel at a drinks and canapé reception at the gallery of London’s iconic bookstore Foyles Charing Cross Road. Jeffrey is the award winning author of The Memory Artists and Prisoner in a Red-Rose Chain and is the current recipient of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec London Studio Residency Award, in London to research future projects.

Jeffrey studied applied linguistics and languages in North America and Europe, and currently works as a translator and lecturer in Montreal and Val Morin, Quebec. The event is an opportunity to ask Jeffrey directly about his writing process and residency experience as well as to explore topics extrapolated from the text.

The event has been supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec as part of the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec's 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

Admission to the event is free though RSVPs are essential. To book your place please email:

Fire Station Centenary - Open Weekend


Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May from 12 noon to 6 pm.

On 19 May 1911, a new Fire Station opened in Poplar, E14. One of the first built for motorised fire engines, the station served heavily-bombed East London during the Blitz of WWII. 

Decommissioned in the 1970s, the building was converted in 1997 and became the permanent home of Acme Studios’ Fire Station Work/Live Residency Programme. Over 50 artists have already benefited from the residencies; the current artists are:

Briony Anderson, Gemma Anderson, Kate Atkin, Jonathan Baldock, George Charman, Melanie Clifford, Susan Corke, Robin Footitt, Haroon Mirza, Matthew Noel-Tod, David Osbaldeston and Emma Smith

To celebrate the building’s centenary and its new life as the base for a major artists’ residency programme, the Fire Station will be opening its doors to the public. The 12 residency artists, along with artists Julie Umerle, Andre Wallace and Richard Ducker on the ground floor, will be opening up their studios during the weekend with some of the artists responding to the centenary with new work. Refreshments will be available throughout.

Exhibition makes Entrances at Acme Project Space


Acme/WASPS Exchange Residency artists Moray Hillary and Agnes Nedregard open ‘Entrances’ at the Acme Project Space on 5 May 2011. The exhibition will include live interactions, performances and continuous transformations during the timeframe of the show. An online catalogue has been produced by NABROAD, Norwegian Artists Abroad, to accompany the exhibition -

In 2010, Acme Studios and WASPS developed an artists’ exchange residency between work/live spaces in Scotland and London. The rent-free residency is open to artists based in studios managed by the two organisations. Moray Hillary was selected as the first recipient artist of the Acme/WASPS Exchange Residency and, along with collaborator Agnes Nedregard, spent two months at Acme’s Fire Station work/live programme in East London.

Canadian artists flaunt their flying car


During May 2011 Canadian artists Evann Siebens and Keith H. Doyle will undertake an Associate Artist Residency with Acme’s International Residencies Programme.

Although both artists have individual practices their residency in London concerns their collaborative film work. A former dancer and dance filmmaker Evann is a media artist, concerned with translating three-dimensional movement to the screen while Keith’s sculptural and design approach is concerned with capitalising on associative meaning in images and design objects.

Recent collaborative projects include, 'containR' - a mobile film festival housed in two stacked, customized shipping containers as part of Vancouver’s 2009 Winter Olympics Cultural Olympiad, and 'IcarusCar' - a collaborative three-channel media sculptural installation which explores the myth of Icarus and Molt Taylor’s flying Aerocar. While here the artists will focus on meeting peers, curators and fellow artists to discuss media art developments, to locate their practice within a London context and undertake research for future projects.

The residency will begin with the exhibiting of 'IcarusCar' at Hotshoe Gallery, The exhibition opens with an artist talk on Wednesday 4th May at 6.00pm, followed by the exhibition opening from 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Acme Studios secures continuing support from Arts Council England National portfolio funding programme announced on 30 March


We very much welcome Arts Council England’s continuing endorsement and support of Acme Studios which is reflected in the success of our application for National portfolio funding for the three years commencing April 2012.

This support helps us to maintain our successful capital development programme which, by next year, will have achieved a portfolio of a minimum of 12 studio buildings (480 studios) of which eight will be owned by us and the remainder managed on long-term and secure leases.

With this secure base not only will we be able to continue to develop our core programme of providing affordable, high-quality and professionally-managed studios and work/live space for artists in need, but also expand our residency and awards programme for artists, which is now one of the most extensive and supportive in the UK.

ACE support to 2015 will also enable us to become self-sustaining; with a significant property asset base we will be able to protect ourselves and the artists we support from the continuing vicissitudes of the property market, deliver affordable rents in perpetuity and generate increasing income to expand our charitable activities.

Whilst we welcome ACE’s support for the programmes of ‘new’ studio organisations, and the continuing support of existing ones, as part of the National portfolio funding settlement, we are very concerned about the implications for the studios sector of ACE’s decision not to continue to fund the National Federation of Artists’ Studio Providers, the umbrella body for the affordable studios sector in the UK.

As the organisation which played a leading role in the establishment of the Federation we will continue to do everything we can to support its future work and to help realise its ambition for a secure sector where affordable studio space is properly recognised as being fundamental to the whole visual arts ecology, providing vital support for art and artists at the level of research and production.

Transient sounds at the Acme Project Space


Jan Hendrickse marks the end of his time as the Tower Hamlets Studio Residency holder with an exhibition at the Acme Project Space 31 March to 15 April. ‘Transient’ is a durational sound installation which derives from conversations and sound recordings made with two women living on the Aberfeldy Estate in east London.

During his two-year residency at Acme’s new-build Leven Road studios, Jan worked with numerous local people and organisations on a range of different projects. The residency provided Jan with a rent-free studio, a bursary of £10,000 a year and the opportunity for him to develop his own practice and build relationships, through his work, with local residents and the wider community.

'Transient' - 31.3.11 – 15.4.11
Acme Project Space
44 Bonner Road,
London, E2 9JS

Thursday to Sunday
12pm -  6pm
Private view  30.3.11
6pm - 8pm

The Residency forms part of Acme’s Residency, Awards and Community Programme which since its inception in 1997, has grown to be one of the most significant and direct means of supporting contemporary artists in the UK.

Register an interest in future studios


Acme Studios is currently developing 76 new studios in East London. At Matchmakers Wharf on the edge of the London 2012 Olympic Park, near to the media centre in Homerton, E9 we are creating 49 purpose-built studios as part of a canal-side, mixed-use development with Telford Homes. Near to the Aquatics Centre in Stratford, E15 we are creating 27 studios in a listed art deco building at 150 Stratford High Street as part of a mixed-use scheme with Genesis Homes. All the studios will be designed to Acme’s specification and will provide high-quality, long-term and affordable spaces for fine artists. The current completion date for the studios is June 2012 for Matchmakers Wharf and September 2012 for 150 Stratford High Street .

To register an interest in either of these schemes or studios in any existing Acme building, please click here to visit our Waiting List page. Then download, complete and return a Studio Registration Form along with a CV, monitoring form and £10 registration fee.

Fire Station artists in new gallery show


Three artists from Acme’s Fire Station Work/Live programme feature in the opening show at EB&Flow, a new gallery in Shoreditch which aims to discover and support emerging contemporary artists. New works by Briony Anderson, Gemma Anderson and Sue Corke are included in ‘Since Tomorrow’, curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, celebrating the core group of EB&Flow artists.

Acme Studios and EB&Flow have a complementary approach to supporting artists. EB&Flow aim to build long-term relationships with artists from a formative stage in their career and as their practice develops. Acme’s Fire Station Work/Live Programme is intended to allow artists more time to concentrate on the development of their work and professional careers.

Acme has run an innovative work/live programme for artists in a converted fire station in East London since 1997. The programme, one of the most supportive in the UK, has helped over 50 artists, with many going on to achieve significant national and international reputations. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the building’s opening and throughout 2011 Acme will be running a series of events to celebrate both the centenary and the artists who have benefited from the programme.

‘Since Tomorrow’ exhibition dates, 2 April – 26 May

For more information on EB&Flow visit:

For more information on Acme’s Fire Station Work/Live Programme visit:

Paul Knight at the Acme Project Space


Paul Knight marks the end of his 2010 Australia Council for the Arts London Studio Residency, managed by Acme Studios International Residencies Programme, with a joint exhibition I'll sit slightly behind you. Also featuring work by Australian artist Chantal Faust, the exhibition is described by the artists as "a double act featuring new collages, folded photographs, a video performance and a cannibalistic contract".

This exhibition contains adult nudity and sexually explicit content.

I'll sit slightly behind you opens on Thursday 3 March, 6.30pm to 9pm at the Acme Project Space and runs Thu-Sun until 13 March 2011. For more information, please see below.

Third Acme tenant receives Jessica Wilkes Award


The 2011 recipient of the Acme Studios’ Jessica Wilkes Award is Andro Semeiko. This is the third year of the award which is open to current Acme tenants in occupation of one of our non-residential studios in London. Created as the result of a legacy from the artist Jessica Wilkes who died in November 2005, the award was established by Acme, and Jessica’s family and friends to celebrate her life.

The annual award, worth £10,000, provides an artist with a free studio and grant to enable them to devote more of their time to their studio practice. Andro has a studio at Acme’s Orsman Road building in Hackney and describes what the award means to him:

‘The award has been given to me just at the right time. My work is at a crucial stage at the moment as I need to commit to my practice fully to bring it to a higher level. With the support of the Jessica Wilkes Award, I will be able to broaden my practice and allow enough time in my studio for experimenting. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to develop a solo exhibition at the Acme Project Space.’

Andro was selected by a panel consisting of Melissa Appleton (Jessica’s niece), Jane Colling (artist and friend), Jonathan Harvey (Chief Executive, Acme Studios) and Laura Hewison (Jessica’s niece). Jonathan Harvey explains the decision to select Andro:

‘The panel were excited by Andro’s recent work and felt that the award would be hugely beneficial at this point in his career. Andro will be the third artist to benefit from the hard work and generosity of Jessica’s family and friends in establishing this award. The Jessica Wilkes Award is an important part of our Residency, Awards and Community Programme which will directly support 27 artists this year.’

In 2010, Andro was awarded the Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship which culminated in a solo exhibition entitled ‘Unveiling’ at Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed. To accompany the exhibition, an artist book, ‘Unveiling: Rocket MT2010’, was edited and published by Basement Art Projects with support from Arts Council England Grants for the arts. The publication features images created and compiled by artist Andro Semeiko, and texts specially written by Neil Mulholland and JJ Charlesworth. For more information visit:

Housing regeneration project get its own artist


Acme Studios, with the support of the Swan Foundation, has developed a one-year artist residency based around Swan Housing’s major regeneration project at Bow Cross, London, E3. Simon Terrill is today announced as the recipient of the award and will spend the next 12 months working on an experimental photography project with local residents.

Simon explains, ‘My aim is to identify sites in Bow Cross that hold some kind of significance to residents, and once identified, generate a series of staged photographs that aim to extract some of the latent imagery residing here. I intend to establish a process of “scripting” the images in dialogue and collaboration with residents. As a development of my practice, the focus will be on portraiture as well as experiments with time, exposure and the multiple within a single image. With this project, what I mean to end up with is a series of “extracts” that form a larger work, a reversal to how I have tended to work in the past.’

The programme was recently launched with an informal event featuring food and refreshments prepared by residents and an historical photography exhibition of Bow Cross. Simon will receive support throughout the residency from Acme Studios and a member of the residents’ association, as well as funding from Swan Foundation of £10,000 and £10,000 towards project costs.

‘We selected Simon for this award because we felt his work would actively engage the residents of Bow Cross,’ said Brian Gregory, Swan Foundation Trustee. ‘His proposal allows the residents to take part in both guiding and creating a series of art pieces that capture key aspects of life on and around Bow Cross.’

Acme Studios was formed as a housing association in Bow and for nearly 40 years has been supporting artists in the area with affordable housing and studios. Founder and Chief Executive of Acme Studios, Jonathan Harvey says, ‘We were very impressed by Simon’s proposal and his ability to engage people from a range of backgrounds. It is very exciting to be involved in a project a short distance from where Acme began in 1972 which continues our aim to support artists and the communities in which they live and work. The Swan Foundation’s decision to invest in an artist residency instead of commissioning a single piece of art will have a greater and more lasting impression on the residents of Bow Cross.’

The Bow Cross Artist Residency was open to Tower Hamlets artists and was selected by a panel comprising Pamela Brown (Swan Foundation), Brian Gregory (Swan Foundation Trustee) Jonathan Harvey (Acme Studios), Abdullah Hossain (Swan Housing Group) and William Raban (independent artist).

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