Acme Studios, supporting art and artists since 1972


Duncan Pickstock

‘Are we there yet?’ 26.3.2015 - 26.4.2015

Duncan Pickstock, Picture 1/15, 2014, 160cm x 180cm
Duncan Pickstock, Picture 1/15, 2014, 160cm x 180cm
Duncan Pickstock, Painting 4/5, 2015, 145cms X 145cms
Duncan Pickstock, Painting 2/5, 2015, 145cms X 145cms
Duncan Pickstock, Painting 7/4, 2014, 150cms X 160cms
Duncan Pickstock, Painting 3/5, 2015, 145cms X 155cms


Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Private View: Thursday 2 April, 6pm to 9pm

Duncan Pickstock, the inaugural recipient of the Rita Harris Studio Award, presents a solo exhibition of paintings made during his year on the award.

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.

Despite this, and along the way, the paintings through their juxtapositioning of form, construction and layers of colour and chiaroscuro, maintain a sense of place or shelter that ultimately reassures the viewer that no matter how aspirational the journey might be, the desire to survive is the greater force in answering the visual and vital questions each painting poses.

Pickstock’s investigation often encompasses a preoccupation with layers of paint and how the application and the removal of paint, to and from the canvas, can alter the viewer’s perception of depth, distance and dimension. Through these formal tools Pickstock explores the tension that exists between something that is neither representational nor abstract; that refers to elements of the world around us but refuses to illustrate them.

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.

Duncan Pickstock is the first recipient of the Rita Harris Studio Award. The award commemorates the life and work of Rita Harris who died in 2013. Rita was an artist and a master of T’ai Chi, which she taught for over 20 years. She was married to Jonathan Harvey, Acme’s Chief Executive and co-founder. She worked with Jonathan at The Acme Gallery (1976-1981) in Covent Garden.

The biennial award, which alternates with the Jessica Wilkes Studio Award, is supported by Jonathan, Acme, friends and family. It provides an artist with a free studio to enable them to devote more of their time to their studio practice. Worth £10,000, the award is made to an artist selected from applications from current Acme studio holders.



Acme Project Space

44 Bonner Road
E2 9JS
020 8981 6811
F 020 8983 0567

Acme Project Space is located in the heart of East London's gallery district, around the corner from The Approach and a short walk from Vyner Street. The venue is well served by public transport:

  • Underground - Bethnal Green (Central Line)
  • Train - Cambridge Heath
  • Bus - D3 & 309
  • Car - On street pay and display parking (unrestricted at weekends)


Journey Planner


The Acme Project Space provides an opportunity for those artists who are part of our Residency & Awards Programme and our International Residencies Programme with a public space within which to develop projects, show new work and engage in a critical dialogue with a wider audience.

The programme of projects and exhibitions is developed in collaboration with those individual artists, who have already been through a selection process and aims to highlight the benefit artists gain from this support. The Acme Project Space therefore, is not currently able to accept unsolicited exhibition proposals from other artists.

Access and facilities

There is level and ramped access throughout the Acme Project Space. All printed material is available in a range of formats, please contact or 020 8981 6811 for further information. There are no public toilet facilities on site.




‘Curating Contemporary Art MA RCA’ 8.5.2015 - 24.5.2015

Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art


Thursday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Private View: Thursday 7 May, 6pm to 9pm

The annual Acme Project Space show curated by students on the Curating Contemporary Art MA at the Royal College of Art featuring artists from Acme Studios' Residency & Awards Programme.



Love Enqvist

‘The World Turned Upside Down’ 6.2.2015 - 8.2.2015



Friday to Sunday 1pm to 6pm

Private View: Thursday 5 February, 6pm to 8pm

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 exhibition begins with evocative images: in one found image the wife of farmer and tree-shaper Axel Erlandson stands with an intricate geometric tree. In contrast, Enqvist’s work 'Axel Erlandson' (2014) records (on scarce 16mm film) the trees after Erlandson’s death. The branches have changed over time: straightened and rebelled without the work of the solitary sculptor, however they still retain their otherworldly allure.

Moving further into the exhibition imagery gives way to sound. In a darkened space, with a raised carpet, a voice carries a string of parallel metaphors. Inspired by the self-induced trances of the San Francisco Diggers and 18th century theologian Emanuel Swedenborg's 'correspondence' through gardens. 'Andramandoni' (2015) uses hypnotic language to discover what cannot be explored in imagery. Each listener finishes the narrative by building an image of his or her own garden.

Enqvist further explores the lapse between image and language in 'Magellania' (2014). Intertwining narrated moments of darkness with silent footage the artist tells the story of Cristina Calderón, the last speaker of the Yaghan language. Referencing Jules Verne's final book, this essay film rethinks the colonisation of language and image, suggesting instead that 'silence is not passive'.

Text by Olivia Leahy


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Acme Studios
44 Copperfield Road
E3 4RR
T +44 (0)20 8981 6811
F +44 (0)20 8983 0567

National Housing Federation member | NFASP member | Supported using public funding by Arts Council England