Dublin Work/Live Exchange
Acme celebrates 30 years of its International Residencies Programme and 25 years of the UK residencies and awards in 2017. We think this is a good moment to take stock and review our programmes with the aim of evaluating different types of interventions and drawing lessons for how we can best support artists over the coming 10-20 years.
The review means we have put some awards on pause, including the Dublin Work/Live Exchange, particularly where they have come about through generous legacy funding which has now ended.
A partnership award funded by Acme and Fire Station Dublin
Following an initiative, with Acme’s support, by artists on Acme’s Fire Station programme, an exchange work/live residency took place with the Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin in July 2013. Following the success of the initial exchange the programme has been continued and extended to a six week period.
The exchange provides a rent-free work/live space for six weeks and a bursary for travel and project funding. In addition Acme supports the visiting artist through access to galleries, curators and networking opportunities.
This year the exchange took place for six weeks from 1 July to 14 August. Caroline Doolin was selected from the Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin, she says: ‘the time spent at Acme was a vital period in which to develop and position my practice within the framework of London’s visual art and moving image networks.'
The artist selected from the Acme Fire Station was Seth Guy. He says: ‘the residency provided me six weeks of uninterrupted time to work every day in and out of the studio, and with the access to workshops, facilities and the support of staff made available to me. I was able to thoroughly research and fully realise a commission during my stay.’
Bridget O’Gorman was selected in Dublin and came to London for a month. She explains: This experience has equipped me with a significant insight in terms of shifting and positioning my practice. Through meetings facilitated with a range of gallerists, artists, curators and practitioners, this residency has opened up a very definite channel of exchange for me between the two cities that I look forward to developing further.'
Acme Fire Station artists Briony Anderson and George Charman spent the corresponding month in Dublin. Briony explains: 'The residency at the Fire Station in Dublin was both productive and focusing for me as I was able to work on and develop an upcoming project which benefited from the time set aside and the resources there. The exchange between Acme and the Fire Station is a really positive project, allowing artists much-needed focused time and the chance for resources, support, ideas to be shared across organisations and for new connections to be made.'
The artist selected from Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin was Maria McKinney who used her time to explore London and build a network:
‘The most positive aspect for me was the opportunity to speak with a range of other artists and curators. This helped me to build a picture of the art scene in London and where my work might fit within it. This also reflected back onto my impression of the Irish scene and highlighted some positive aspects that I hadn't considered.’
In tandem, the artist from Acme’s Fire Station, Sue Corke collaborating with Hagen Betzweiser, took up the reciprocal work/live residency in Dublin. Inspired by author Jonathan Swift and the swifts that flew around Dublin, they created a body of work entitled ‘Embassy of Summer’ which included a sculptural birdbox positioned on the outside of the building described by the artists as: ‘A new fortress for these entities, high up in the air, 16 metres above the ground, on the north face of the Firestation Artist’s Studios – an invitation into the future to return again and again and again.’
Caroline Doolin at the Fire Station. Photo: Fiona Haggerty (2015)
The Fire Station, 30 Gillender Street, Poplar E14
- Acme Studios
- 44 Copperfield Road
- E3 4RR
- T +44 (0)20 8981 6811
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.