Project: Artists Studio Company

ASC Gallery, The Chaplin Centre, Taplow House, Thurlow St

This is the first of three articles by students. The first is about researching and developing the project, followed by a second piece in early autumn about the challenges and opportunities of delivering the project. A final article about the project’s completion will be available towards the end of 2016. 

Research and Development

We are a group of nine MA Culture Criticism and Curation students who have recently undertaken a project with Artists Studio Company (ASC), a registered charity, which provides affordable studio spaces to artists. We will be presenting an exhibition and programme in the ASC gallery space, located within the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, South London, in early November. The estate, built from 1963–1977, is one of Europe’s largest social housing estates and is in the midst of being redeveloped. As such, ASC gallery’s tenure at the Aylesbury is limited. 

After undertaking individual research, our group compiled and distilled this information into two questions that will inform the trajectory of the project; How do you fill a space? How will we remember the now? 

Working in collaboration with local residents and organisations, artists and practitioners, the group is hoping to use the gallery space as a functioning ‘research centre’ as a means of investigating these questions, for anyone interested in the past, present and future of South London. We are interested in exploring the legacy of the redevelopment process in South London, and the spatial implications of this change. As properties are earmarked for demolition, people and infrastructure are hastily ‘decanted’, but often these spaces remain empty for years at a time; temporarily (and) partially occupied, or sealed and boarded up, stuck in a development limbo. At current, this feels like a period of transience, change, uncertainty and hope, and we are interested in how this will be reflected upon in the future.