Publication presents pioneering, ongoing collaboration between Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins
Studios for artists: concepts and concrete. A collaboration between Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins presents the preoccupations, activities and achievements emerging from the ongoing dialogue between two of the UK’s leading art institutions: affordable studio provider Acme Studios and art college Central Saint Martins. The form, function and future of the artist’s studio is the central focus of the collaboration and of the publication. The subject of studio provision is approached from the partners’ different but entirely complementary roles and perspectives, as is their shared commitment to creating new models of support for students after graduation.
The book presents, through a series of written and visual essays, how, enabled by a two-year government-funded research project, the partners formalised and intensified their work, resulting, amongst other initiatives, in the design and construction of an award-winning studio building and the establishment of a sustainable graduate studio programme.
The book provides a remarkable insight into the world of art education and of the artist in London at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This is set against the ongoing challenges faced by art education, and the threat to affordable studio provision where spiralling property prices threaten this vital, but generally unacknowledged, part of the contemporary visual arts ecology.
Studios for artists: concepts and concrete. A collaboration between Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins is available from Black Dog Publishing priced £19.95: http://blackdogonline.com/all-books/studios-for-artists.html
Third Stephen Cripps' Studio Award open for applications
The Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award is a major creative development opportunity for artists whose practice is based in sculpture which embraces elements of light, movement, machinery, sound or performance. It provides a resource and support structure from which artists can develop their practice and realise and present planned or new projects. The award forms part of Acme Studios’ Residency & Awards Programme.
The award, which is based at new-build, purpose-designed studios at High House Production Park, Thurrock, not only celebrates the work of Stephen Cripps, an important ‘pyrotechnic sculptor’, but also helps promote the vision for the Park and the potential for creative collaboration between its partners: High House Production Park Ltd, the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop, the Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre, Creative & Cultural Skills’ Backstage Centre and Acme Studios.
Starting on 1 September 2016, this is the third and final of an initial programme of three one-year awards. Each award provides a rent-free large ground-floor ‘production’ studio, a £10,000 bursary and £10,000 towards project realisation costs. To ensure that as many artists as possible in the UK are able to benefit from the award, the selected artist is also offered the option to rent a work/live space within the studio building during the award year.
The Award is funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps’ family.
The third award runs for one year from 1 September 2016 to 31 August 2017.
The deadline for applications is 5.00pm Friday 22 January 2016 with interviews for short-listed artists on Tuesday 1 March 2016.
For more information and to apply, please visit:http://www.acme.org.uk/residencies/stephencripps
Emma Corrall at the Acme Project Space
Summer Ready/ Some Are Ready/ So Ready is an exhibition of new work by Emma Corrall, the 2014-15 recipient of the Helen Scott Lidgett Studio Award.
Implementing cultural techniques that operate between art and anthropology, retail and the fitness and health industry, Emma’s practice poses questions around consumer culture, object ontologies and biopolitics.
Working across video, sculpture, ceramics and digital prints the installation proposes a space deeply permeated with human touch and desire. The materiality of each medium employed is presented in a direct relationship with physicality to construct a non-hierarchical environment, whereby both tangible objects and the human perception are destabilised.
The Helen Scott Lidgett Studio Award forms part of Acme Studios’ Residency & Awards Programme and is a partnership initiative between Acme and Central Saint Martins, jointly funded by Acme and the Helen Scott Lidgett Fund. It provides a rent free studio for twelve months, a stipend, as well as mentoring and exhibiting opportunities.
Summer Ready/ Some Are Ready/ So Ready will be the final exhibition at the Acme Project Space.
27 November to 20 December 2015
1pm to 6pm Thursday to Sunday
Private View: Thursday 26 November, 6pm to 8pm
Announcing the new 2015/2016 Graduate Studio Awardees
This year sixteen new artists were selected and will take up studios from October 2015.
Acme Studios runs four awards for art college graduates housed at our Warton House studios in Stratford, E15: the Adrian Carruthers Studio Award open to graduating students from the MA at Slade School of Art; the Chelsea Studio Award open to graduating BA Fine Art students; the Goldsmiths Studio Award for MFA graduates at Goldsmiths; and the Helen Scott Lidgett Studio Award for MA graduates from Central Saint Martins.
Acme also developed, with Double agents (a research project based at Central Saint Martins), two Associate Studio Programmes for CSM BA Fine Art graduates. Programme 2, supporting twelve graduate artists, launched at The Highline Building in Elephant and Castle in October 2015 and will run until 2017.
Adrian Carruthers Studio Award
Rutie Borthwick was selected by Heather Deedman (Senior Artists' Liaison Officer, Acme Studios), Hew Locke (external artist) and Slade staff Ed Allington, Susan Collins, Lisa Milroy, Jayne Parker and Jo Volley.
Rutie’s practice explores the idea of ‘external wombs’ or incubators, the places where people go to get nurture. The work is purposefully sensory and touchable in order to heighten the viewer’s senses, drawing attention towards their bodies and skin while they explore.
Chelsea Studio Award
Harriet Foyster was selected by Julia Lancaster (Senior Residency & Awards Manager, Acme Studios), Fiona Haggerty (Residency & Awards Officer, Acme Studios) and Jonathan Baldock (invited Artist). The award is supported by the Chelsea Arts Club Trust.
An amalgamation of moving image, text and research, Harriet’s practice interrogates the universally central roles of labour and language. Her work is realised through an ongoing merging of the historical and the contemporary, the material and the immaterial, and the textual and visual.
Goldsmiths Studio Award
Alison Ballance was selected by Julia Lancaster (Senior Residency & Awards Manager, Acme Studios), Richard Noble (Goldsmiths), Jane Hamlyn (Award Donor) and David Batchelor (invited artist). The award is supported by Jane Hamlyn and ISA Charity.
Alison works across performance and installations using writing, textiles and audio. Her practice looks at subversive speech, gestures of resistance and feminised labour.
Helen Scott Lidgett Studio Award (Central Saint Martins)
Hugo Brazao was selected by Julia Lancaster (Senior Residency & Awards Manager, Acme Studios), Professor Graham Ellard (Prof. of Fine Art, CSM), Jane Wentworth (Helen Scott Lidgett Trust) and Christina Mackie (invited artist). The award is supported by the Helen Scott Lidgett Fund.
Hugo’s work explores the transformation that images undergo when they are placed in saturated online spaces, how their meaning and purpose are then altered and how the bridge between reality and fiction is challenged.
Central Saint Martins Associate Studio Programme 2 (2015/2017 Highline)
Acme also developed, with Double agents (a research project based at Central Saint Martins), two Associate Studio Programmes for CSM BA Fine Art graduates.
Programme 1, started in 2013 and based at the Glassyard building in Stockwell, currently supports eight artists. Programme 2, supporting a further twelve graduate artists, launched at The Highline Building in Elephant and Castle in October 2015 and will run until 2017.
Alex Schady (Programme Director; Art, CSM), Heather Deedman (Senior Artists’ Liaison Manager, Acme Studios) and Graham Ellard (Prof. of Fine Art, CSM) selected the following artists for the two year programme:
Adeeb Ashfaq, Oliver Coltman, Nina Davies, Helena de Pulford, Abbi Jones, Daniel Kan, Suzy Lawlor, Corinne Macdonald, Anna Pickles Harvey, Eleanor Turnbull, Charles Verni, and Jacob Watmore.
Cynthia Cruz at the Acme Project Space
Cynthia Cruz, recipient of the 2014/2015 Goldsmiths Studio Award, presents her first solo show at the Acme Project Space. The exhibition is a collection of Cynthia’s recent works across painting, sculpture, digital printing and video.
Cynthia’s practice seeks to construct a world built upon imagery that represents bits and pieces of personal and universal tragedies, the darkest moments in her own and other people’s lives.
These fantastical worlds are constructed through play. ‘Grown up toys’ such as computers, iPhone apps, acrylic and enamel paint, special effects make-up and junk found in the studio, are applied alongside found imagery from the internet; specifically the sorts of images that are passed around on social media that draw on themes of tragedy, horror and the absurd.
Through a process of collaging and layering using these ‘toys,’ Cynthia transforms the graphic source material into vivid other-worldly imagery across painting, sculpture and video. Similar to the mysterious fictional contracts of childhood fantasies, the works are unguarded and unapologetic in the line they tread between humour and bad taste, playfulness and menace.
The Goldsmiths Studio Award is a partnership funded by Jane Hamlyn, Acme Studios and ISA Charity through the Artisa Foundation. It provides a shared rent free studio for twelve months, a stipend, as well as mentoring and exhibiting opportunities. It is awarded to one MFA Goldsmiths graduating student each year.
The Girl Who Ate All Her Hair
Acme Project Space
30 October to 22 November 2015
1pm to 6pm Thursday to Sunday
Private View: Thursday 29 October, 6pm to 8pm
Hannah Corbett announced as new Chief Executive of Acme Studios
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Hannah Corbett as Acme Studio’s new Chief Executive, following the announcement in April that, after 44 years, Jonathan Harvey, Acme’s co-founder and Chief Executive, would be standing down. Hannah will take up the post in January 2016.
Hannah joins as Chief Executive from the civil service, where she is currently serving as Commissioner General and Director for the UK at the Milan Expo 2015 (UK Trade and Investment/Foreign and Commonwealth Office). In her present role, she has been responsible for commissioning an artist-led, award-winning UK Pavilion and promoting UK creative strengths internationally. Prior to this, she has held a wide range of policy and diplomatic roles as well as advising government on housing projects in Hackney Wick and working for a local authority on housing allocation.
Hannah is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead:
“Acme’s values and the part it is playing in setting the agenda for London’s creative future are inspirational. Having the chance to lead Acme and support artists to succeed is a privilege. I am committed to bringing all of my energy, drive and abilities to furthering its mission.”
Jonathan believes that this is the perfect time to move on from his role as Chief Executive and welcomes Hannah’s appointment:
“From April this year Acme became a self-sustaining organisation without, for the first time in over 40 years, the need for Arts Council revenue funding. We can now plan with a considerable degree of certainty and, working with our partners, build on our achievements. However the demand for affordable space for artists in London continues to grow. I know that Hannah will bring all of her considerable skills, experience and creativity in response to this challenge.”
Richard Millward, Acme’s new Chair, has expressed his delight at the appointment:
“I am thrilled that Hannah has accepted the role of CEO, to take over from Jonathan next year. She comes with an exceptional range of skills and experience combining classic diplomacy, strategic financial management experience and leadership for construction and property development projects – all of which will be very valuable in Acme moving forward.”
Acme Studios is England’s leading affordable artists’ studio developer and provider. Formed by recent art school graduates in 1972 the organisation has been led by Jonathan Harvey and David Panton since its inception. Jonathan (working with his co-founder, staff and board) has, since 1972, established a permanent organisation which supports art and artists at the most fundamental level by investing in creative risk taking through the provision of affordable space, residencies and awards, as well as playing an important strategic national role supporting the affordable studios sector. He, and David Panton, were appointed Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year 2014 Honours List for services to the arts.
After stepping down as CEO Jonathan will continue to serve on Acme’s board and continue his work to establish a permanent publicly-accessible archive for the organisation. David Panton, Director of Estates, will continue in his current role until 2019 when he plans to stand down from the day-to-day executive team. The phasing of the co-founders’ move from their executive roles, and their continuing involvement as board members will provide an important level of continuity. Richard Millward, until recently a director of Rothschild, who has served on Acme’s board for a number of years, is Acme’s new Chair and will oversee, with the board and the management team, this period of transition and take the organisation forward over the next period.
Rita Evans concludes her Stephen Cripps' Studio Award with Brain Drain and Trance Party
In the final week of her Stephen Cripps Studio Award, Rita Evans will present two sound-based sculptural installations currently in development. Their uncertain outcomes, moments of failure and possible collapse will be shared with the audience.
12.30pm to 1.30pm Brain Drain in the Stephen Cripps' Residency Award Studio 005, High House Artists' Studios
A series of sculptures and drawings (in progress).
Developed in the award studio from original drawings that formed part of Rita’s proposal for her year on the Stephen Cripps Studio Award, the Brain Drains explore exhaustion and loss of control. Using methods of circulation, filtering, reducing, expanding and melting to reach various points of ending or renewal, they aim to create a watery, volatile soundscape as liquids and materials flow through them.
2pm to 4pm Trance Party in the Barns
A site specific 'electro-acoustic' instrument/sculpture and party.
Trance Party uses the creative potential of turbulence, failure and open-endedness as a strategy for the audience to create and construct their own rhythm. ‘Trance’ in the title, relates to the level of heightened awareness during shared concentration; the build-up and breakdown of a beat; a sparse starting point with layers that slowly build over time; and the repetition of phrases, that in ‘trance music’ sends dancers into a hypnotic state. The physically flexible nature of sections of the sculpture, will aid the constant destabilisation of pitch encouraging new beginnings. The audience is also invited to dance or relax within and around the instrument.
The Stephen Cripps Studio Award is a major creative development opportunity funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps' family.
Saturday 24 October 2015
12.30pm to 1.30pm and 2pm to 4pm
High House Production Park, Vellacott Close, Purfleet, Essex, RM19 1RJ
3 & 4 October - Open Studios - One weekend, four buildings, over 100 artists
Over the weekend of 3 & 4 October, four Acme Studios buildings will be open to the public. Over 100 artists will be opening their studios showing a wide range of practice and spaces.
Robinson Road, E3
Starting with an opening night party on Friday 2 October, 6pm to 8pm, the event features artists exhibiting their work in its infancy, at completion and a multitude of states in between.
Harrow Road, NW10
Part of the ArtWest Open Studios featuring six studio buildings with over 30 artists opening their private studio doors to welcome you in. It provides the opportunity to find out how works are made and see how creativity shows itself in all its diverse ways.
Childers Street, SE8
Under the name The Propeller Foundry, over 80 artists invite the public to see their work and creative environments. The weekend features a Postcard Auction, Historic View, Family Trail and hand-crafted coffee.
Oaks Park, Sutton
A good opportunity to meet the artists and view original artworks in the relaxed setting of the old stable block in Oaks Park, Sutton. We're open from 11am to 5pm both days.
Aaron Wells at the Acme Project Space
Relentless Optimism, a Moment of Blindness Before and After the Dark Space, is an exhibition of new film work by Aaron Wells (Chelsea Studio Award).
Using collaged filmic material from a diverse collection of found audio-visual footage, as well as specific material recorded by the artist, the resulting film works interrogate what it is to exist in a place, whether that place be physically real, digital or imagined.
This investigation is paired with an interest in the social and cultural aspects of the disparate imagery that is manipulated on screen, material taken from a range of sources: from virtual tour videos and advertising, to intimate shots of sites with historical and personal significance to the artist.
The exhibition deals with themes of allegory, passivity and unfounded optimism, exploring problems attached to the contemporary fantasy of ‘the good life,’ while simultaneously critiquing the essential state of living within the present.
The Chelsea Studio Award is a partnership funded by Chelsea College of Art & Design, Chelsea Arts Club Trust and Acme Studios. It offers a Chelsea College Fine Art BA graduate a rent-free studio for 12 months plus a stipend, and in addition mentoring and exhibiting opportunities. It is one of Acme’s growing number of studio awards managed under its Residency & Awards Programme, aimed specifically at recent graduates.
25 September 2015 to 18 October 2015
Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm
Private View: Thursday 24 September, 6pm to 8pm
Milou van der Maaden at the Acme Project Space
in Spite of the Mass is an ongoing project by Milou van der Maaden, the current Adrian Carruthers Studio Award artist, dealing with immigration politics and national image-making in the Netherlands. The exhibition will present fragments of Milou’s new project, and its surrounding research, through a focus on biopolitical struggles and the agency of resistance.
Working across video, photographic, socio-performative and text works, Milou will utilise the Acme Project Space as a place to instigate conversations between research and practice, exploring agency and resistance through visual embodiment and performativity.
Established in 2002 for artists graduating from The Slade School of Art, the Adrian Carruthers Studio Award is part of Acme Studios' Residency & Awards Programme and provides a free studio for a year, plus a bursary of £6,000. The award was created in memory of the artist Adrian Carruthers, who died in October 2001 at the age of 40.
4 September 2015 to 20 September 2015
Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm
Private View: Thursday 3 September, 6pm to 9pm
72-82 screening at Tyneside Cinema
William Raban’s 72-82, a one-hour film about the early years of Acme Studios, will be screened on Friday 11 September at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle as the culmination of an event discussing the future of temporary artists’ studios in the city. As part of The NewBridge Project’s 5th Birthday, 2 Day Conversation is aimed at artists, arts organisations, artist-led initiatives, local authorities, funding bodies, developers, universities, researchers and architects. The event looks at “the recent boom in repurposing empty buildings for creative ‘meanwhile’ use” and will explore “the various models; the vibrant artist ecology that grows from these creative hubs; the necessary social, cultural and political conditions and what comes next”.
Acme Chief Executive Jonathan Harvey will be at the 6.20pm screening of 72-82 for a question-and-answer session regarding Acme’s development from managing short-life housing in the 1970s to today being England’s leading affordable artists’ studio developer and provider which is now entirely self-sustaining without the need for public funding. The public screening of 72-82 at the Tyneside Cinema, an independent cinema located in central Newcastle, is the result of an initiative by the Independent Cinema Office around creating an ongoing programme of artists' moving image where none previously existed.
Since it was launched at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2014, 72-82 has been shown at numerous festivals and universities, both in the UK and abroad. This screening is supported by Independent Cinema Office as part of the ICO Artists' Moving Image Network, funded by Arts Council England.
More information about buying a DVD or arranging a screening of 72-82 can be found here: lux.org.uk/shop/products/dvds/william-raban-72-82
More information about The NewBridge Project’s 2 Day Conversation can be found here: thenewbridgeproject.com/2-day-conversation-do-we-need-to-grow-up/
More information on the screening of 72-82 on Friday 11 September can be found here: www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/diary?date=2015-09-11
More information on the Independent Cinema Office’s promotion of artists’ moving image can be found here:
Rosika Desnoyers at the Acme Project Space
During the opening hours, Rosika will be in the space working and exploring the late eighteen-century needlepainting of Mary Linwood as a strategy for the production of new visual propositions within the context of Desnoyers’ own 'effective' display strategies.
20 August to 23 August 2015
Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm
New Chief Executive - Applications open
London-based Acme Studios is England’s leading affordable artists’ studio developer and provider. Formed by recent art school graduates in 1972 the organisation has been led by Jonathan Harvey and David Panton since its inception. Acme has expanded considerably over the last few years, securing major new-build permanent studio developments which have contributed to the organisation’s sustainability. The organisation now operates for the first time without the need for public funding or additional fundraising for its core activity of studio provision.
It was announced in April that, after 44 years, Jonathan Harvey, Acme Studios’ Chief Executive, will be standing down and Acme’s board is therefore seeking a new Chief Executive to take up the post from January 2016.
The new post holder will build on the success of the organisation in response to the increasing demand for, and continuing challenge of providing, affordable, high-quality and sustainable space to support artists in economic need. Acme’s board is looking to appoint a Chief Executive with proven leadership skills who will respond to the challenge of supporting artists’ creative risk taking with passion and imagination.
Acme Studios is an equal opportunities employer.
Please visit Acme Studios’ website for an application pack – http://www.acme.org.uk/aboutacme/currentvacancies
The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 14 August 2015 | Initial interviews Wednesday 9 September 2015.
72-82 available on DVD
72-82 by William Raban is now available on DVD and for hire for screenings and exhibitions in the UK and internationally via LUX. The 60-minute film draws largely on a range of archive material from Acme Studios’ first decade, animated by the voices of recently-interviewed artists and others who were part of the story to reveal what this artist-led organisation’s early years were about. These include: Kevin Atherton, Bobby Baker, Anne Bean, Stuart Brisley, Richard Cork, David Critchley, Richard Deacon, Fergus Early, Ron Haselden, Charles Hayward, Jacky Lansley, Jock McFadyen, Ken McMullen, Sandy Nairne, Simon Read, Claire Smith, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Anthony Whishaw, Alison Wilding, Richard Wilson and Bill Woodrow.
“Solely using archival visual materials, [Raban] revisits the first ten years of art organisation Acme, highlighting its work in housing artists in the East End and the extraordinary work that was produced.” (William Fowler, London Film Festival)
72-82 had its UK premiere in October last year as part of the Experimenta programme of the BFI London Film Festival and was subsequently screened by Acme to invited audiences at Hackney Picturehouse on three occasions. The film has now been shown more widely – in art colleges and at festivals, including the 61st Oberhausen Short Film Festival in May.
The film follows the archive exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, Supporting Artists: Acme’s First Decade 1972-1982 (September 2013 to February 2014), and was commissioned as part of Acme’s 40th anniversary celebrations. The work is an important reminder of how Acme began and of its founding principles. The need for affordable space for artists is as pressing as ever and responding to that demand continues to be very challenging; Acme remains totally committed to that task. Recognised as one of Britain’s foremost artists and experimental filmmakers, William Raban was also intimately involved with the history that the film reveals. As such it offers perhaps a new model of how archives can be presented on film.
“Rather than an attempt at a definitive history this is an assemblage of spoken recollections and recovered ephemera from a selection of artists who were probing new ground in performance, sculpture, film and intervention in 1970s London. From these fragments and memories the filmmaker plots historical narratives, versions of events that focus on contemporary issues: housing, availability of property, artists and galleries interaction with wider communities, consumerism and broader attitudes to emerging art practice. With this type of practice now all but impossible in cities like London and New York this could be merely a nostalgic lament on the loss of a more open city. But ultimately that isn't the true nature of the story here. The coda is more optimistic: despite everything else, the type work the more progressive Acme artists championed - conceptual, performance, mixed media - has in subsequent decades been accepted as legitimate art practice. Their story is, if only in this regard, one of victory.” (Guy Parker, ArtSlant, Los Angeles)
DVDs of 72-82 can be purchased for £20.00 directly from the LUX online shop: www.lux.org.uk/shop/products/dvds/william-raban-72-82
For information on hiring the work from LUX for screening or exhibition please visit: www.lux.org.uk/collection/works/72-82
For more information on the background to the film, please visit the Acme website: www.acme.org.uk/commissions/williamrabanfilm
juice at the Acme Project Space
juice is an exhibition at the Acme Project Space with works by Lydia Davies, Chris Ifould, Piotr Krzymowski, Sean Lavelle, Asta Meldal Lynge, Cameron Scott, Tilly Shiner and Nikhil Vettukattil (CSM Associate Studio Programme). The exhibition will move through different phases over the month of June; new works will be added, existing works removed or re-staged allowing for a number of different exhibitions to be produced concurrently.
In addition to the normal opening hours, there will be a period of four days when the gallery will only be open after sunset. Here, work will be shown which requires a dark space and the natural conditions will allow existing elements to be seen in a different context.
juice presents the sound of air that yields to make way for planes moving through a sky poured and cast in concrete; standing tall surrounded by easy stud walls. The things inside the circle are organized by cranes that are lifting and delivering, staging a world view on top of the minutes that ask everything of you. And as the siren of a passing emergency spirals around the corner, the penguin suddenly comes to epitomize the very notion of elegance upon diving into the water.
Daytime: 4 - 14 June (Thurs - Sun, 1pm - 6pm)
First arrangement of works produced for and at the Acme Project Space.
Late nights only: 18 - 21 June (9pm - midnight)
Showing new works after dark: moving image works, lights, phosphorescing substances.
Private View: Thursday 25 June (6pm - 9pm)
An event to celebrate the culmination of works produced for and at the Acme Project Space.
Daytime: 26 - 28 June (Fri - Sun, 1pm - 6pm)
Second arrangement of works produced for and at the Acme Project Space.
For further information please visit http://juice-exhibition.tumblr.com/
Plants take over the Acme Project Space
Students from the Curating Contemporary Art MA present Planta: Notes on Botanical Dissidence at the Acme Project Space, as part of an ongoing partnership between the Royal College of Art and Acme Studios Residency & Awards Programme.
Premised on the investigative model of note-taking, the group show is an exploration into the conceptual potential of plants, often silently present but frequently neglected in the overarching discourses of history. The exhibition includes work by Candice Jacobs, Milou van der Maaden, Isa Melsheimer and Rachel Pimm.
On Thursday 21 May at 6.30pm the curators present a screening of "How to breathe and feel with plants?", a talk by Michael Marder, Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country. This presentation, especially recorded by Marder for the event, is based on a book co-authored with Luce Irigaray. Against the prevalent treatment of plants as objects to satisfy our needs, Marder proposes a way to attune our breathing and sensory practices to their unique vitality. In a mélange of theoretical reflection and personal narrative, Marder explores how humans can participate in the essentially superficial modes of respiration, feeling and indeed being that define vegetal life. The screening will be followed by a discussion with artists Milou van der Maaden and Rachel Pimm facilitated by the exhibition curators.
The event is free, but booking is required:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-breathe-and-feel-with-plants-planta-notes-on-botanical-dissidence-tickets-16828511531?ref=estw
Further information can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1570365113230932/
Curated by Inês Geraldes Cardoso, Grace Storey.
‘Planta: Notes on Botanical Dissidence’
Candice Jacobs, Milou van der Maaden, Isa Melsheimer and Rachel Pimm
8.5.2015 - 24.5.2015
Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm
Private View: Thursday 7 May, 6pm to 9pm
Barry Thompson - recipient of fifth Jessica Wilkes Studio Award (2015/16)
Barry Thompson has been selected as the fifth artist to receive the Jessica Wilkes Studio Award. The award provides the artist with a rent-free period of one year in their studio, a bursary to enable them to devote more time and resources to their studio practice as well as additional support via studio visits from other artists and professionals. With a value of over £10,000, the award is made to an artist selected from applications from current Acme tenants and we greatly value the continued active involvement of friends and family in the award. The award alternates each year with the Rita Harris Studio Award established in 2014. This year we are delighted to be working in partnership with PEER (www.peeruk.org), who will work with the selected artist towards a solo show to take place in spring 2016. The exhibition will be supported by additional funding from Acme and PEER. Ingrid Swenson, Director, PEER, noted:
“From a very strong short list of seven, the panel was unanimous in their selection of Barry Thompson for this award. Thompson makes small, meticulously executed series of drawings that focus on a diverse range of subjects including his native Essex landscape, bird studies, contemporary rock musicians and uniformed soldiers. While his work is firmly rooted in a tradition of observational drawing, there is a further layer of disquieting enquiry that he brings to this level of scrutiny, where the quotidian meets the exquisite”.
Barry, a tenant at Acme Studios’ Leven Road studio building, said:
"I was over the moon to receive this award! It has given me the rare opportunity to spend more focused time in the studio without the burden of financial issues common to most artists. I will pursue making a body of work that has been in the pipeline now for three years or so. I am planning to work with images obtained from the Imperial War Museum archive where I can continue to engage with the themes that have been prevalent in the work up until now, albeit at another level. I am convinced that my practice will benefit from this and feel very privileged and humbled to be selected as well as very excited to be working with PEER in the near future."
Barry was selected by a panel consisting of Melissa Appleton (Jessica’s niece), Jonathan Harvey (Chief Executive, Acme Studios), Joanna Hewison (Jessica’s sister) and Ingrid Swenson (Director, PEER).
Rita Evans at the Backstage Centre
Join Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award 2014/15 recipient, Rita Evans at High House Production Park for a selection of spontaneous live performances involving the local community in the Backstage Centre, the onsite arena-scale live sound stage.
Sunday 10 May 3pm-5pm
High House Production Park, Vellacott Close, Purfleet, Essex, RM19 1RJ
For detailed information about the event and directions, please visit ritaevans.com
The event will include performances on new 'electro-acoustic instruments' developed by Rita Evans which will explore the sensory rhythms of making and thinking, including: knitting, singing, stage lighting and effects. A diverse range of part-sculptural, part-architectural structures made by Rita will be present in the space. These will be ‘performed’ by groups of people from the Thurrock area including Lesley Robinson and Knitters Circle, the Royal Opera House Community Choir and the National Skills Academy Creative & Cultural Backstage Training Centre’s Technical Youth Team and South Essex College.
Over the first six months working on site Rita has been exploring performance in relation to forms of musical improvisation. These are highly-structured in their bringing together of personal rhythms in one common task, while at the same time spontaneous in the final outcome. This approach allows the performers to be creative and offer their own interpretations.
The performances have an emphasis on the temporary, both in their performative nature and in their built forms that use recycled and found materials from around Thurrock. The event will explore the ebb and flow of time, of working, of performing, of making and moving together. For one afternoon, the Backstage Centre becomes a live creative space where the group dynamics of the community, an elemental part of the works, will evolve inside and around the sculptures.
The performance further builds on the creative collaboration between the partners on the Park; High House Production Park, the Royal Opera House, Creative and Cultural Skills, South Essex College and Acme Studios.
The Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award is a major creative development opportunity funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps' family.
Acme seeks new Chief Executive
Post to be advertised from 6 July - Closing Date 14 August
Acme Studios is England’s leading affordable artists’ studio developer and provider. Formed by recent art school graduates in 1972 the organisation has been led by Jonathan Harvey and David Panton since its inception.
It was announced in April that, after 44 years, Jonathan Harvey, Acme Studios’ Chief Executive will be standing down with effect from March 2016. A new Chief Executive will be appointed by January 2016 and the post advertised in early July. Jonathan (working with his co-founder, staff and board) has, since 1972, established a permanent organisation which supports art and artists at the most fundamental level by investing in creative risk taking through the provision of affordable space, residencies and awards, as well as playing an important strategic national role supporting the affordable studios sector. He, and David Panton, were appointed Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year 2014 Honours List for services to the arts.
Jonathan believes that this is the perfect time to move on from his role as Chief Executive:
“From April this year Acme will become a self-sustaining organisation without, for the first time in over 40 years, the need for Arts Council revenue funding. The past support of the Arts Council has made a critical contribution to this success. Through revenue and significant capital funding we have been able to develop a permanent portfolio of affordable, high-quality and permanent studios; a resource which will support generations of artists into the future. We can now plan with a considerable degree of certainty and, working with our partners, build on our achievements. While no longer in receipt of Arts Council England revenue funding we very much look forward to maintaining a dialogue with the funding body.”
Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts and London, Arts Council England, said:
“Jonathan has been instrumental in the success of Acme Studios over the last 40 years and I know that everyone would like to thank him for his contribution. Under his leadership Acme has gone from strength to strength. The 2013/14 archive exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, focusing on Acme’s first decade and celebrating its first 40 years, captured the long-term impact this organisation has had on artists living and working in London. It has truly changed the fabric of the city for artists in a way which is not always visible, but is essential. Arts Council England has valued our long-standing partnership with Acme as a National Portfolio Organisation. Acme’s decision not to apply to us in the last funding round was a singular one, and is a testimony to their successful business planning and ambition to be independent. We look forward to working with and supporting David Panton and the team on future projects.”
Jonathan will continue to serve on Acme’s board and continue his work to establish a permanent publicly-accessible archive for the organisation. David Panton, Director Property, will continue in his current role until 2019 when he plans to stand down from the day-to-day executive team. The phasing of the co-founders’ move from their executive roles, and their continuing involvement as board members will provide an important level of continuity. Richard Millward, until recently a director of Rothschild, who has served on Acme’s board for a number of years, has been appointed Acme’s new Chair and will oversee, with the board and the management team, this period of transition and take the organisation forward over the next period.
Jonathan Harvey founded Acme Studios with David Panton in 1972. He completed a BA Fine Art at Reading University (1967–71) and an MA at Chelsea School of Art (1971–72). He ran The Acme Gallery (1976–81) in Covent Garden which established a significant reputation for its uncompromising approach to the presentation of installation and performance work. In 1977, he co-founded TSW-Television South West (1982–92) the ITV franchise holder for the South West of England. He worked as their Arts Consultant and as an associate producer on arts and experimental programmes, and co-curated two pioneering international site-specific public art projects, TSWA 3D (1987) and TSWA’s Four Cities Projects (1990). He was Chairman of Arnolfini, Bristol (1993–2006), where he oversaw their major capital lottery project at Bush House. He played a key role in establishing a national body to represent affordable studio providers and in 2006 became a found ing trustee of the National Federation of Artists’ Studios Providers. He is currently a trustee of High House Production Park Ltd., Purfleet, Essex. He, and David Panton, were appointed Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year 2014 Honours List for services to the arts.
Arts Council support
Since 1973 Acme Studios has received a total of £8.36m from the national/regional arts funding system. Of this, £5.1m has been in the form of capital and associated grants (including £1.2m from the National Lottery in 1996, and £2.0m in 2004/05) and £3.0m in annual revenue support (since 1975). In 2011 Acme successfully applied for revenue funding to become a National Portfolio Organisation (2012/15) explicitly on the understanding that the organisation would not apply again as it was moving towards being self-sustaining.
Duncan Pickstock at the Acme Project Space
Pickstock’s large-scale paintings are an attempt to move on, to move forward and closer to a state of resolve, towards a harmonious conclusion, that is always the goal but one that he accepts is unachievable. Painting is then a journey for Pickstock, a journey that the artist sets out on knowing that the destination, this arrival at a state of resolution, will never be reached.
Accompanying full colour catalogue, with essay written by Paul O' Kane (Artist, Writer & Lecturer) will be available. Designed, printed and supported by Tom Clark and Printhouse Corporation.
'Are we there yet?'
26.3.2015 - 26.4.2015
Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm
Private View: Thursday 2 April, 6pm to 9pm
Fire Station Artists Announced
The artists selected for Acme Studios’ Fire Station Work/Live Residency Programme 5 (2015-2020) are: Aaron Angell, Holly Antrum, Leah Capaldi, Lucy Clout, Samantha Donnelly, Alex Frost, Seth Guy, Richard Healy, Rizwan Mirza, Geraldine Swayne, Michelle Ussher and Lucy Woodhouse.
The programme is designed to provide a breathing space for artists enabling them to plan ahead with greater certainty, supporting the development of their practice at a time when it is most needed. The programme provides low-cost work/live space for 12 artists from April 2015 until March 2020 and is one the most supportive schemes for professional artists in the UK.
165 applications from across the UK were submitted and the final selection made, from a shortlist of 25, by the panel consisting of Julia Lancaster (Acme Studios’ Residency and Projects Manager), Erika Tan and Ben Cove who are both practicing artists and former Fire Station tenants.
Ben Cove explains, “I was not at all surprised that there was such a high number of applicants as the security of five years in a subsidised work/live space is almost impossible to come by. The overall standard of applicants was very high and selecting 12 was not easy. As someone who sat on the other side of the interview table 10 years ago, I’m fully aware of what this will mean to those selected.”
The Fire Station Work/Live Residency Programme is one part of Acme’s Residency & Awards Programme which this year will help and support 27 UK-based artists. The wide range of programmes include subsidised work/live units, cash bursaries, artist exchanges, purpose-built subsidised and rent-free studios for recent graduates, as well as mentoring, advice and exhibition opportunities.
As a previous beneficiary, Ben Cove understands that the Fire Station “is invaluable to many artists who work hard to maintain and build their practices while meeting the ever increased costs of living and working in the capital”.
Short biographies and examples of each of the 12 artists selected for the Fire Station Programme 5 (2015-2020) can be found at: http://www.acme.org.uk/residencies/firestationworklive
Acme IRP seeks Administrator
For over 27 years, Acme IRP has enabled international governments, cultural agencies and foundations to offer artists major work/live residencies in London. In recent years, Acme IRP has expanded to include new partners and programmes. Our mentoring scheme and bespoke programming means we are working with increasing numbers of artists, galleries and arts organisations in London and across the UK.
In order to support this growth, we have created a two day a week permanent post of International Residencies Programme (IRP) Administrator supporting and reporting to the IRP Manager, Lea O’Loughlin.
The IRP Administrator role is being promoted exclusively to practising non-commercial fine artists in order to benefit artists through the provision of secure part-time employment consistent with the organisation’s charitable purposes and recruitment policy.
For more information about the role, including Job Description, please visit: http://www.acme.org.uk/aboutacme/currentvacancies
Love Enqvist at the Acme Project Space
The World Turned Upside Down is an exhibition of new work by Iaspis 2013/14 residency artist Love Enqvist at the Acme Project Space. For this exhibition Enqvist has harvested radical gardening references using them to create an environment for imaginary gardens. Each of Enqvist’s layered references begins with an historical character, whose solitary obsession with gardens was inspired by a spiritual belief. The exhibition is a labyrinth of imagery and language, and at its centre is an invitation to create an imaginary garden through a hypnotic process. The title, taken from Leon Rosselson's folk song of the same name, references the 17th century movement the Diggers and introduces the concept that assumed knowledge can be 'turned upside down'.
‘The World Turned Upside Down’
6.2.2015 - 8.2.2015
Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm
Private View: Thursday 5 February, 6pm to 8pm
Acme Studios mentioned in the Lords
A question was asked in a Short Debate in the House of Lords on Monday by Nicholas Trench concerning Government Support for Artists. Under his title The Earl of Clancarty, the practising artist and crossbench peer outlined the pressures facing artists such as low-pay, copyright and the cost of renting a studio. Arguing that “artists need reasonably permanent cheap spaces”, Acme was referred to as “the success story in London”. He went on to explain that: “The keys to that success are the long-term support and the fact that Acme has managed to buy its own buildings. But where that is not possible Section 106 agreements might be used by local authorities in areas where studio space is required, enabling continued employment use in buildings and a guaranteed 100% occupancy. This is something that the Government ought to be encouraging where it is appropriate to do so.”
Acme has successfully used Section 106 agreements to achieve permanent affordable studio space for artists in new-build developments in six London boroughs. It has long argued that local authorities and development agencies can do more to support fine artists through existing planning legislation.
The transcript of The Earl of Clancarty’s question and the government’s response can be found via Hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/150119-0002.htm#15011944000072
Stephen Fakiyesi & Harold Offeh at the Acme Project Space
To celebrate the culmination of his six-month London residency in 2014, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, artist Stephen Fakiyesi returns to London to exhibit How to Speak to Power? at the Acme Project Space with British artist Harold Offeh.
The two artists presented in this exhibition, Stephen Fakiyesi, and Harold Offeh, use play and humour in their art work, as disarmingly as a court jester, to suggest strategies that give voice to the voiceless and that makes visible the imbalances of power which often goes unnoticed in regular social interactions. In so doing, they point to a more equitable balance of power within the world at large.
For further information, please visit Acme Project Space.
30 January - 1 February 2015
1pm to 6pm Thursday to Sunday
Private View: Thursday 29 January, 6pm to 8pm
Closing Event: Sunday 1 February, 3pm to 6pm. An opportunity to meet both artists and discuss their work in the gallery.
- Acme Studios
- 44 Copperfield Road
- E3 4RR
- T +44 (0)20 8981 6811
Between 1996 and 2012 Acme received ÂŁ3.2m of capital funding from Arts Council England which supported the creation of six permanent affordable studios in London: Copperfield Road, Fire Station, Galleria, Harrow Road, Leven Road and Matchmakers Wharf. This resulted in 186 studios and 12 work/live units in four London boroughs.