Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, have secured a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), a part government-funded programme which helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of the knowledge, technology and skills that are available within the UK knowledge base.
This innovative collaborative project will examine the role, form, function and future of the Artists’ Studio in a context of changing art practices and economic conditions. It brings together the work of Acme Studios with that of Double agents.
Central to Double agents interests is an interrogation of the artist’s studio – how an artist’s relationship to it is thought, what it’s function is beyond a practical resource and how it reflects the specifics of practices that differ from the conventions of the generic, insular, material workshop space.
Acme Studios is a London-based charity dedicated to helping artists in economic need through the provision of affordable non-residential studio space, work/live space and housing, together with awards, residencies and other professional development opportunities. Acme is recognised as the leading studio development organisation in England and has helped more than 5,000 artists with this fundamental means of support.
The partnership is the result of discussions between Graham Ellard and Jonathan Harvey, Acme’s Chief Executive. The 2-year KTP project, which is set to begin in June 2010, will generate primary research through an extensive programme of studio visits and interviews to produce an informed and authoritative model of the functions of the artists’ studio and a template for future design, provision and management.
The project is being undertaken by an Artists’ Studios Research and Development Associate – Arantxa Echarte. Arantxa is currently completing her PhD in Fine Arts at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, and has a Pg Dip in Research (UWE, Bristol), an MA in Art and Design (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen) and an Honours Degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country (UPV, Bilbao). She has continued to maintain her practice as an artist and curator, and has experience of studio space as a practitioner, previously being based at BV studios, Bristol. Arantxa will be based with Acme full-time for two years, employed by the university and jointly supported by Graham Ellard for Double Agents and Acme Chief Executive Jonathan Harvey.
(photo: Revati Mann in the Adrian Carruthers Studio, Acme Studios, Childers Street, London, May 2009).