An ambitious pop-up shop has just opened in London’s West End. House of Voltaire features limited edition and original works by over 150 artists and designers, with proceeds from sales helping to fund Studio Voltaire‘s gallery and education programmes back at its base in Clapham, South London. Prices start from just £1 for a book of matches by Simon Fujiwara that reworks an image of Michelangelo’s David.
The project is coordinated Joe Scotland, Director of Studio Voltaire, with the help of a 40-strong committee and financial support from Outset Contemporary Art Fund.
Scotland explains: “House of Voltaire is a way of reaching new and wider audiences than we can from our studios and gallery in Clapham. The project will make a significant contribution to the running costs of Studio Voltaire. We receive around 5% of our income from Arts Council England and need to fundraise from other sources for our artistic and education programmes.”
House of Voltaire includes works by an impressive list of both established and emerging artists: Turner Prize winners including Mark Leckey and Jeremy Deller have either donated works or been commissioned by Studio Voltaire to create artist products; there are silk scarves by Mark Titchner, T-shirts by Linder and a portfolio of hand-tinted etchings by Pablo Bronstein. Other artists with works for sale include Cory Arcangel, Matthew Darbyshire, Anthea Hamilton and Elizabeth Price.
Scotland continues: “The majority of the original works are donated and we commission the products and then cover production costs, so the project is very much reliant on the generosity of artists.”
Studio Voltaire supports artists’ practice by providing affordable studios and through ambitious exhibition and education programmes. Its gallery programme facilitates projects that may not otherwise find support, offering a critical and practical framework that enables artists to develop new work on their own terms.
Forthcoming commissions include a large-scale film project with 2012 Turner Prize nominee Spartacus Chetwynd, who has also donated work to House of Voltaire: “Spartacus is one of the artists we have an ongoing relationship with, having first worked with her in 2005. Commissions like this are not just about financial commitment but are about allowing time for the artist to create something they might not normally be able to produce. Studio Voltaire commissions often sit outside of what would normally be funded by either the commercial sector or larger institutions.”
House of Voltaire continues to 15 December at 17a Adam’s Row, London.
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