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Occupation Studios Fundraising Auction
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Occupation Studios

Occupation Studios is a case study in cooperative survival in the urban regeneration landscape.

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Nottingham Studios Consortium

Nottingham Studios Consortium is an example of the ‘strength in numbers’ approach in making the case for studio provision.

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Starter studios

Rebecca Farley profiles the Starter studios programme and looks at how six of the scheme’s previous artists were able to develop their careers.

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Artist-led: Art Licks

Art Licks is a London-based platform that supports artist-led activity and grassroots visual culture in the capital. This profile includes a video recorded at a-n’s Assembly Thamesmead event in October 2019, in which Director Holly Willats introduces the organisation she founded in 2010.

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Artist-led: Bow Arts

Bow Arts Trust is an arts education charity which provides affordable work space to artists and creative businesses in London, alongside an award-winning education programme that works with over 100 schools. This profile includes a video interview with project manager Joss Taylor, recorded at Assembly Thamesmead in October 2019.

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Artists and mental health: Liz Atkin, #CompulsiveCharcoal artist

London-based artist Liz Atkin creates work both in response to and as way of coping with compulsive skin picking. Alistair Gentry finds out more about her art practice, and the advocacy and education work she undertakes to help others understand and deal with this and other body-focused repetitive behaviour conditions.

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Alternative art education: Turps Art School

Turps Art School was founded in 2012 as a medium-specific art school providing year-long studio and distance learning programmes for painters. Co-founder Marcus Harvey talks to Michaela Nettell about the ideas and values behind the school.

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Alternative art education: School of the Damned

School of the Damned is a free year-long alternative, and unaccredited, art school. Each year a new student group comes on board and collectively devises and develops their programme of learning. Laura Davidson finds out more from members of the founding cohort, Class of 2014, and the Class of 2018 graduating students.

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Artist-led: Jane Simpson, artist and programmer of Assembly Swansea

Artist Jane Simpson, who runs Swansea gallery GS Artists, describes the challenge of maintaining relevance as an artist-led initiative and her optimism for the future. In a video interview recorded at a-n’s Assembly Swansea event in May 2019, which was programmed in collaboration with Simpson and explored the difficulties and advantages of running artist-led projects in the city.

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Artist-led: Keep It Complex

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.

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Artist-led: Rhubaba

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.

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Artist-led: The Sustainable Studio

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.

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Artist-led: The Royal Standard

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.

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Artist-led: Generator Projects

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.

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Artist-led: Tin Roof

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.

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Residencies: Wysing Arts Centre

In 2017, Wysing Arts Centre restructured its residency programme to be more responsive to artists’ situations and to support a more diverse pool of practices. Drawing on a conversation that took place between Wysing’s director Donna Lynas and resident artist Tessa Norton at the ‘Pivotal Moments’ conference, Lydia Ashman explores how and why the programme has changed.

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Residencies: The Art House

Based in Wakefield, visual arts development agency The Art House continually explores ways to work with artists who face barriers to their practice. Its residency programme supports artists at different stages of their career and is shaped around individuals’ needs. Lydia Ashman speaks to Programme Producer Simon Boase and artist Rosanne Robertson about the tailored support the organisation provides to artists.

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Artist-led: AirSpace Gallery

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.

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Artist-led: Grand Union

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.

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Artist-led: Stryx

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.

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Artist-led: Paradise Works

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.

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