Acme Studios, supporting art and artists since 1972

Hackney Studio Residency

The Lesney Matchbox Toys Factory, which had occupied the Matchmakers Wharf site, was an enormously significant landmark building and local employer. With the opening of the new development it was important that we recalled and celebrated that history. Our approach is to invest in an artist to bring the history, and the lives of the people associated with it, to life. To do this we established a new artist residency, the Hackney Studio Residency, based on our successful programmes in Southwark and Tower Hamlets.

The eighteen-month residency, which commenced in October 2012, was be based in a ground-floor studio at the entrance to the main development, and provided a free studio (worth £7,500) and a bursary of £10,000. The programme was a collaboration with our partners, Hackney Council’s Cultural Development Team and the Hackney-based independent arts organisation, PEER, who provided additional professional support and mentoring to the artist.

This was a significant professional opportunity for an artist to develop their studio practice. It is important that at the very beginning of the new development we did not let the history of the site fade and there was an opportunity to bring it to life in a form created and mediated by an artist. The open ‘brief’ therefore was that the history of the site, and the people associated with it, became the artist’s principal ‘subject matter’.

 

David Murphy

The residency opportunity was widely promoted and from 98 applications, the panel representing the partners, selected David Murphy.

David lives and works in Hackney. He graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2006 and has since exhibited and travelled widely. He describes his work as follows: 'From architecture to anthropology, tool-making to trade routes, my practice takes up inherently human activity that begins with the hand. Looking carefully at these specific processes, and re-presenting aspects of them as part of a larger imaginary, stories are spun leaving room for conjecture, but anchored in rigorous research and historical groundwork.'

David's residency culminated with an exhibition 'Certain Impacts' at PEER in Spring 2014, his first solo show in London and was a presentation of drawings and sculpture created during the 18-month award.

 
Moira Sinclair, Executive Director Arts Council England, London, Mayor Jules Pipe, Hackney Council and David Murphy at the launch of Matchmakers Wharf. Photo: Greg Goodale (2012)
Moira Sinclair, Executive Director Arts Council England, London, Mayor Jules Pipe, Hackney Council and David Murphy at the launch of Matchmakers Wharf. Photo: Greg Goodale (2012)
Matchmakers Wharf, E9. Photo:Morley von Sternberg (2012)
Exterior of Lesney Matchbox Toys Factory. Photo: Greg Goodale (2009)
David Murphy speaking at launch of Matchmakers Wharf. Photo: Greg Goodale (2012)
Detail from interior of Lesney Matchbox Toys Factory. Photo: Greg Goodale (2009)
 
 

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Residency partner: PEER Gallery

Residency partner: PEER Gallery

Residency partner: Hackney Council

Residency partner: Hackney Council

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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.