I often claim that London is to 21st century art what Paris was for 20th century art. This bold assumption doesn’t by any means suggest that London produces the greatest of artists; until now it has been too far from it. I’m talking about London being the most popular immigration destination for many Europeans and non Europeans alike.

Recent statistics suggest that only 20% of the London population is born in London, the rest came from somewhere else.

As an Immigrant myself, I can assure you that the act of immigration is mostly economic, yet I wouldn’t suggest that London is the easiest of places. Life is more difficult and much more expensive than any other place in the UK and Europe, yet it takes the lion’s share of another type of immigrants, the Cultural type. Artists, writers, musicians those who came to join over 22000 arty citizens, many of whom have ambition to be artists of the world rather than artists of any given nation.

KROM BALGESKY, DESI TOSHEVA and THEODOR TODOROV are three young immigrant artists. They came from Bulgaria over a year ago, following their ambitions and taking full control of their destiny. They work as cleaners, like most Bulgarians in London. They clean by night, to be able to pay the rent of their small studio by day. Other needs are not really of any importance to them, they work and live for their art.

Like many others who studied art outside the Anglo American planet, they’re highly educated, talented, devoted, and they are neither in the business of writing pretentious critical essays nor in the business of conceptual art.

Nazir Tanbouli

Artist and Curator of Studio75



Studio75’s final project

Several Skeletons from the Same Closet

It is now the beginning of 2013 and it is time to look back on the last two years of Studio75. We started the studio in January 2011. We wanted to create an artist-led space for both production of our own work, and for creating small exhibitions with different artists. These last two years have been exceptional. The studio has also been influential for most of the artists who have worked with us. A small ground floor studio flat in a council block became a cultural hub and a Bohemian refuge, gathering in a broad variety of people, artists and audiences.

However as you may already be aware, the physical space of Studio75 will soon cease to exist, as the whole block will be pulled down. Actually it should have gone almost 3 months ago, but for building delays.

Yet Studio75 will continue to exist, as a network of artist, friends, as an online organisation and presence until we find a new venue, and as an active inspiring framework.

Given that the Studio is in its last weeks, we will use the remaining time to share with our audience the bigger bulk of the work that has been produced here. Most of our visitors have come for the fortnightly exhibitions and Open Studios, and may not be aware that every single day of the week the studio is used as a production space. So, now we’ll let the skeletons out of the closet.

Studio75 – all details here: http://www.studio75.org.uk/

Nazir Tanbouli’s performance at Hackney Downs Studios 06.12.12


Tatsuko: A film by Glenn Ibbitson

Tatsuko is an extraordinary project, and encompasses all of the prodigious skills and talents that a master of their craft can accomplish. Glenn Ibbitson’s 40-min film is a hauntingly beautiful, dramatically gripping yet enigmatic film that draws the viewer into a world dominated by a strange landscape, where the familiar becomes alien and human relationships are intense yet completely distant.

The story is simple: a hooded man arrives at a remote farmhouse. The artist who inhabits the house, goes about her daily self absorbed routine, oblivious to the dark figure watching her. Slowly he begins to inhabit her territory, watching, waiting. Scuttling away when she is near, yet closer to her than her own breath. Is he real, or a shadow? Is he malign, or a guardian angel?

The film’s cinematography is breathtaking, making the most of both the wild Welsh landscape, and the way that ordinary interiors can be imbued with suspense. In their majestic stillness, the shots breathe the artistry of Antonioni, while the enigmatic yet intense story echoes Tarkovsky.

The entire film was made by Ibbitson, with a magnificent soundtrack by Wyn Lewis Jones. The script, scenography, camera, lighting, editing is all done by Ibbitson, and it is a shock to realise that since before the credit you imagine this is film that took a significant budget and a crew. But no. Having previously made a number of short films, Ibbitson’s status as a master painter can be seen and felt in every frame. Tatsuko, as well as being hugely entertaining, is an object lesson in how that most traditional of art forms, painting, can be a discipline and a catalyst to electrify and deliver art cinema of the highest quality.

Tatsuko the film is accompanied by a substantial published book that can be purchased showing all of the drawings that are integral to the film. The drawings themselves, in a concertina book form, are also available for exhibition.


Glenn is a painter, printmaker, film-maker and collagist. His art covers a broad range of subject matter, but at its core is always a vision, realised through various representational forms, addressing the enigma of what it is to be human. After many years spent as a BBC and freelance scenographer and scene painter, Glenn Ibbitson works as a professional painter and film-maker, based in west Wales.

Glenn has shown work in London, New York, San Francisco, Kyoto and Dortmund. His work is in private collections across five continents.

Glenn is a member of Studio75 and has participated in many of the studio’s projects. In 2011 he exhibited drawings in “The Draftsman”, collages in “Rip it Up!” and “CONSIGNMENT”, a solo show of paintings and prints In 2012 Glenn screened his new film “Tatsuko” and exhibited Tatsuko a collection of drawings connected to (and featured in) the film along with a published book (Nant Studios 2012) of the same name.


Studio75 took a break over the summer. We spent time on Canada’s Pacific Coast, looking at Haida and Coast Salish traditional art and the relationships between art, nature and culture.

Back in London we’re editing the film “Taking Over the King’s Land” which tells the story of Nazir’s huge mural project.

Nazir has been active in the studio with two new series of drawings:

KINFE EDGE DRAWINGS http://www.nazirtanbouli.com/drawing/knifeedge/kni…


BIOMORPHIC ABSTRACTIONS http://www.nazirtanbouli.com/drawing/biomorphic/in…

In October we started Open Studio Saturdays. Every Saturday afternoon you can come and visit the studio, see new and old work, buy if you should so desire, and meet the guest artists. Guest artists come and spend the afternoon and draw with us. We have already had Paris based BODO (George Bodocan) in residence, Bulgarian artists KRUM and DESI and we await others. If you are interested, drop us a line or drop by.


On Nov 7th, Studio75 will be welcoming GLENN IBBITSON to the London premier of his new film TATSUKO. Wales-based Glenn has exhibited several times at Studio75 and we are excited to welcome him back with this extraordinary film. More about the film: http://www.studio75.org.uk/tatsuko.html

In other news, Nazir has been shortlisted for the UAL Creative Enterprise Award for “The Kings Land” at Studio75.

Join us on Twitter @studio75london for regular updates, peeks at new work and more.

BODO residency



I decided to go back to my roots, working with Luna Nera, and make a site specific project on the Kingsland estate where the Studio is. I called Valentina who cofounded Luna Nera with me and she was totally up for it. I got together a lot of work by great artists whom I know, and we were off.

The event was dogged by the heavy unrelenting rain that is blasting the UK right now – there is no escape and the only alternative was to just cancel. For the foreseeable future the forecast is rain, so no point even in trying to postpone. So we went ahead and did it, and – with the help of umbrellas, big plastic bags and a tolerant audience waiting for us while we flew around with said umbrellas and plastic bags – by the time the sun set the rain stopped and all was dark and magical. It was worth it.

The first piece to be seen upon entering was work by Sheffield based artist Tracey Holland whose work is all about gorgeous, sumptuous images that are haunting and eerie. Made using highly-crafted techniques of photography and video compositing, Holland’s work references cinema but is not cinema, references painting but is digital, harks back to traditional notions of aesthetics but is contemporary and often profound. In NIGHT OF THE BLACK MOON she showed two looped pieces, Carnival of Souls and Golem.

Nearby, a large and beautiful tree provided a natural screen to show two pieces that deal with the human body: Glenn Ibbitson’s piece Consignment and Adrian Shephard’s butoh dance piece The Life of the Fly.

A particularly derelict wall on the far side of the estate acted as a surface for a selection of works that all address memory: Jessica Kolokol’s Contact a dual-screen piece made from old analogue photos; Adrian Shephard’s super-8 film Angels and Brighton memoir Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Harriet MacDonald’s paper-cut animation Another Year Gone.

The mighty SDNA duo Valentina Floris and Ben Foot brought some of their recent video work 12 Moves, and projected that against the big wall of the tallest block on the estate. A triple-screen fantasy combining animation and live-action, the piece offered endless surprises and delight.

I won’t pretend it wasn’t difficult to mount a show of this size and calibre in a place like the Kingsland estate – which is after all a condemned East London housing estate, not a gallery. And it was outdoors – something I have always said I won’t touch (after doing many site-specific indoor projects). And it rained. But as I said it was worth it. The hard rain came down on cue about 8 mins before we were due to pack up. Everyone flew away; we grabbed the brollies and packed tout de suite and suddenly the estate was dark as it nothing had ever happened there. Dark and brooding, reclaimed by the urban foxes, the estate went back to sleep,