Acme Studios, supporting art and artists since 1972

Chelsea Studio Award

Eligibility: Final year BA Fine Art students at Chelsea College of Art and Design


In 2009, Kiki Claxton and Harry Major, two second-year students at Chelsea College of Art and Design, approached Acme for support in providing more appropriate awards for graduating students. Aware of the difficulties graduate artists face and encouraged by Kiki and Harry’s pro-activeness, Acme offered to provide a studio rent-free for six months.

The 2010-2011 Chelsea Studio Award was greatly enhanced as a result of a grant from Chelsea Arts Club Trust, who encourage art and design education, and provide help and support for artists and designers. The award holder receives a cash bursary and professional mentoring. Chelsea Arts Club Trust continue to make a valuable contribution to this award.

Each year, students are involved in organising the award and gain invaluable experience of working with professional arts bodies as a result of this and other student initiatives. 2015/16 Yannick Nixon: 2014/15 Faron Ray, Liberty Hodes: 2013/2014: Abigail Booth, Marleen Bosch, Rebecca Kirkpatrick, 2012/2013: Tanya Pragnell, Hannah Claydon, 2011/12: Tanya Pragnell, 2010/11 Lauren Houlton, 2009/10 Kiki Claxton, Harry Major

2015-2016: Harriet Foyster

Harriet was selected by Julia Lancaster (Senior Residency & Awards Manager, Acme Studios), Fiona Haggerty (Residency & Awards Officer, Acme Studios) and Jonathan Baldock (invited Artist).

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.

Speaking about the award Harriet says: ‘The award gives me an invaluable platform from which I can continue to question and explore my practice, and will be integral in practically supporting the development of my work. It's an incredible opportunity.’

Warton House Graduate Award Studios

The Chelsea Studio Award is one of four graduate awards permanently located in purpose-designed award studios, located at Acme’s Warton House studios in Stratford. The adjoining spaces naturally promote peer support, as well as professional input from galleries and through mentoring and studio visits. These awards have been carefully developed with Acme’s partners to provide a valuable and effective bridge between college and professional practice. Each award provides a rent-free studio for 12 months plus a stipend of £2,500 - £6,000 per year. 


Previous recipients of the Chelsea Studio Award

2014-2015: Aaron Wells
Aaron was selected by Julia Lancaster (Acme Studios, Residency and Projects Manager), Fiona Haggerty (Residency & Awards Officer) and Benedict Drew (invited artist). Aaron primarily works in film and describes his work as the 'interweaving of fiction and reality which aims to provide the viewer with a new perspective that can translate beyond film and into their everyday surroundings'.

2013-2014: Naomi Fitzsimmons
Naomi was selected by Heather Deedman (Acme Studios, Senior Artists' Liaison Officer) and Ed Atkins (invited artist). Working primarily in performance, Naomi’s work deals with the interaction between artist and audience and the space in which this reciprocal exchange takes place.

2012-2013: Rafal Zajko
Rafal‚ was selected by Jemima Brown (Artist) and Sarah O'Reilly (Artist/writer). He showed at the Acme Project Space 8 – 26 May as part of 'Adjacent Practice Colliding Daily' curated by students from the Royal College of Art's Curating Contemporary Art programme.

2011-2012: Anna Moderato
Anna Moderato was selected by Jonathan Harvey, Acme Studios and Julia Alvarez, BEARSPACE for this year's Chelsea Studio Award. Anna says of her work 'I see my practice as a series of investigations into the physical world. Through sculpture and video I explore how materials and objects behave when manipulated and what possibilities they have within the limits of physical law.'

2010-11: Amy Gee
Amy Gee was the second recipient of the Chelsea Studio Award. She was selected by Lisa Panting (Director, Hollybush Gardens), Gill Addison (Chelsea College of Art) and Julia Lancaster. Amy works mainly in film and video and began her six months in the studio in October 2010.

2009-2010: Sam Austen
A panel comprising artist Lindsay Seers and Acme's Heather Deedman selected Sam Austen as the inaugural recipient of the award. Sam took up his residency at Acme’s Galleria studios in September 2009. Sam’s previous work includes small-scale painting and projections. Having a large studio has encouraged Sam to experiment in new media and he used his time to work on a large sculptural piece.

Harriet Foyster, 'What is once well done,' 2015

Harriet Foyster, 'What is once well done,' 2015

Partner: Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts and The Chelsea Arts Club Trust

Partner: Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts and The Chelsea Arts Club Trust

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

Between 1996 and 2012 Acme received £3.2m 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.