Founded in 2010 by a group of London-based artists, AltMFA is a free, nomadic, alternative art school whose fluid content and structure morphs around the needs of its members. Lydia Ashman speaks to co-founder Louise Ashcroft about the project and why radical inclusivity and a little bit of anarchism are essential to its existence.
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Hack & Host in Hull was established in 2015 by three local arts workers as a public forum for structured conversations about contemporary art. Lydia Ashman reflects on how the project has been impacted by Hull City of Culture 2017 and speaks to associated artist, Clare Holdstock, about Hack & Host’s ongoing appetite for debates about art and politics.
Formed in 2016 in the run up to the EU referendum, Keep It Complex: Make it Clear is a loose collective of London-based artists and cultural workers. Its members aim to challenge apathy and fear by providing people with ‘tools and ideas to get involved with everyday politics’. Lydia Ashman reflects on the ways in which the group use their skills and networks as artists to facilitate conversation in a divided world.
Market Gallery has been part of Glasgow’s artist-led ecology since 2000. The gallery is led by a volunteer committee and operates from a shop unit in the working-class neighbourhood of Dennistoun, where it presents a varied programme of exhibitions, events and residencies. Lydia Ashman talks to artist and committee member Catalina Barroso-Luque about how the gallery is responding to a reduction of resources through its programme and structure.
Rhubaba is a studio provider and a project space in Edinburgh. Led by a volunteer committee, it presents an interdisciplinary programme of exhibitions, workshops and events. Lydia Ashman speaks to committee member Ben Callaghan about Learnin’ Broke my 💔, Rhubaba’s research project on radical pedagogy and self-organisation, and the challenges and rewards of operating in an artist-led context.
Treeline is a Birmingham-based artist-led investigation into how artists can influence our relationship with nature. In 2017, members of Vivid Projects’ Black Hole Club visited Norway and Spain to research and develop an international network of artists, sustainability practitioners and academics for Treeline. Lydia Ashman speaks to Jaime Jackson, one of Treeline’s founders, about why artists are best placed to facilitate positive change.
Low Profile is a collaboration between Plymouth-based artists Rachel Dobbs and Hannah Jones. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Cardiff, in which Dobbs and Jones discuss how living in Plymouth has shaped their attitudes as artists and cemented their commitment to making things happen in their city.
The Sustainable Studio is a creative co-working space in a former munition factory in Cardiff. This profile includes a video, recorded at Assembly Cardiff, in which co-founder Sarah Valentin explains how a large warehouse space became a catalyst for working collaboratively and building creative relationships.
The Royal Standard is an artist-led gallery, studios and social workspace in Toxteth, Liverpool. This profile includes a video, recorded at Assembly Dundee, in which artistic directors Lucy Bretherton and Becky Peach introduce their roles and outline the challenges of sustaining a volunteer-run organisation for over a decade.
Generator Projects is an artist-led gallery in Dundee. This profile features a video interview, recorded at Assembly Dundee, in which Generator Projects’ chair and committee members introduce the organisation and discuss its aim of supporting emerging artists in the city.
Rat Trap is a Cardiff-based creative collective of recent graduates who organise exhibitions and events as a platform for artists and musicians to share their work and develop their practice. This profile features two videos, recorded at Assembly Cardiff, in which members of Rat Trap introduce their work and consider the notion of success.
Tin Roof is an artist-led collective that runs Dundee Ceramics Workshop. This profile includes an interview with artist and co-founder of Tin Roof, Joanna Helfer, recorded at Assembly Dundee, in which she describes her involvement with Dundee’s artist-led scene and her optimism for the future.
AirSpace Gallery is a studio provider and gallery space in Stoke-on-Trent. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Birmingham, featuring AirSpace Gallery’s co-director Anna Francis introducing the organisation and explaining its deep commitment to being part of Stoke-on-Trent’s evolving post-industrial identity.
Founded in 2010, Grand Union is a studio provider and project space that supports artistic and curatorial development in Digbeth, Birmingham. This profile includes a video, recorded at Assembly Birmingham, in which director Cheryl Jones introduces the organisation and shares its current strategy for securing a permanent home.
Stryx is a studio, project and exhibition space which forms part of the flourishing artist-led ecology in Digbeth, Birmingham. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Birmingham, of founder and co-director Karolina Korupczynska introducing the organisation and discussing the challenges of delivering a sustainable project on limited resources.
The Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art is an artist-led platform that aims to bring critically engaged, high quality contemporary visual art to the city and surrounding area. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Birmingham, in which founder and artistic director Ryan Hughes introduces the organisation and describes its ambitious journey.
Studio provider and project space Paradise Works was founded in April 2017. Straddling the Salford-Manchester border, the organisation hosts 30 artists and presents an artist-focused programme of exhibitions, residencies and events. This profile includes a video, recorded at a-n’s Assembly Salford, of founder Lucy Harvey introducing the organisation and discussing its aspirations to be a sustainable presence within the artist-led ecology.
Islington Mill in Salford is an evolving creative space, arts hub and community that provides studios, hosts residencies, and includes a peer-led art school and artist-run B&B. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Salford, of Islington Mill founder Bill Campbell introducing the organisation and discussing future plans.
Based in a former school in Nottingham, Primary supports artistic production through its studio provision, residencies and a public programme. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Salford, where director Niki Russell introduces the organisation and shares its lengthy journey to securing a space.
S1 Artspace in Sheffield is a member-led studio provider and exhibition space, running since 1995. This profile includes a video, recorded at Assembly Salford, of S1’s Stephen Escritt outlining the organisation’s plans for a major expansion at the Grade II* listed brutalist Park Hill estate.
Initiated in 2010 by two fine art graduates, The NewBridge Project in Newcastle upon Tyne provides studios, a gallery, project spaces and a member-led professional development programme. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Salford, of former director Charlotte Gregory introducing the organisation and discussing how during a period of expansion the project has stayed loyal to its member-led ethos
Founded in 1972, Acme Studios has grown to provide around 600 studios for London-based artists. This profile includes two videos, recorded at Assembly Salford, featuring Acme’s Head of Projects & Communications Jack Fortescue introducing the organisation and outlining its unwavering commitment to securing long-term, affordable artist studios.
Founded by a group of artists in south west London as a studio space in 1994, Studio Voltaire currently operates under a multiplicity of different guises. Art researchers Doggerland reflect on the organisation’s hybrid structure, and speak to its head of development and communications Niamh Conneely about the many different modes Studio Voltaire employs to support artists’ careers.
Based in Birmingham’s growing cultural quarter Digbeth, Recent Activity seeks to contribute to the area’s artist-led scene without replicating the activity of its more established spaces. Art researchers Doggerland speak to one of the organisation’s founders Andrew Gillespie about working within manageable parameters to offer “something a bit different” to the area.
Morgan Quaintance’ documentary explores Cubitt studios, Cubitt gallery and Cubitt education, taking a look at the history and present of the London-based organisation, its previous curators, artists and others who have been involved, as well as glimpsing into its possible future.