26 new affordable studios for artists, makers and designers open in Wembley Park
Second Floor Studios & Arts (SFSA) officially opens 26 brand-new affordable studios for artists, designer makers in Wembley Park.
The 6,300 sq ft of Wembley Park Studios – now fully occupied by studio members – are the first of their kind in the area and have been launched to tackle the shortage of space available to the visual arts community at affordable rates in permanent, well managed and bespoke facilities. The opening marks a major investment in the arts for Brent, who were recently named London Borough of Culture 2020, and wider London.
The studios in Wembley Park have been custom designed and built for visual artists, future proofing the studios use by designers, painters, ceramicists, illustrators and filmmakers for year to come. The studios are located in the new creative quarter of Wembley Park, which later this year will become home to the largest Boxpark to date, as well as a cultural and performance hub. The new openings aim to help retain and grow talent right here in the capital – helping to preserve London’s status as a world-class creative city.
SFSA, who were established in 1997, announced their appointment to run and curate the studios in Wembley Park last year. The studios have been delivered through a partnership with Quintain, the developers behind the £3bn Wembley Park regeneration, and supported by Brent Council, who provided grant funding for the fit-out of the studios through the GLA’s New Homes Bonus funding programme.
The 26 studios are occupied with new studio members, including fashion designer and founder of House of Bilimoria, Shilpa Bilimoria, photographer Agata Pec, who has worked for magazines such as Esquire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and brands including Jimmy Choo, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Monsoon, and painter and art therapist, Hanan Bahamdan.
Other studio members include ceramicist Rula Sayegh and clay sculptor Yuli Hirano, who also teaches the Florence method of drawing and sculpture, as well as Brent-based documentary filmmakers Turab Shah and Arwa Aburawa – alongside many others
As well as providing affordable studios, SFSA will also be delivering a range of educational and outreach programmes, including workshops and exhibitions, providing long-term partnerships and opportunities for the local community. This includes the Shared Skills Times Bank system where in exchange for the lower rents studio members set aside one hour a month of their time, to be given back to the community. This will result in over 300 hours of workshops, educations programmes and community outreach.
Speaking about the opening, Catherine Webster, Executive Director – Strategy & Investment at Quintain (developers behind Wembley Park), said:
“I’m delighted that we have now officially opened 26 brand new and bespoke affordable artist studios in Wembley Park. It has been a privilege to work with Second Floor Arts and Studios, an organisation which is dedicated to the arts and the community surrounding it, to deliver these provisions for the local area. We look forward to our continued partnership with Second Floor, fostering the diversity and creativity of those living and working in the local area.”
Adding to this, Nichole Herbert Wood, Second Floor Studios & Arts, said:
“We are delighted to have officially opened these studios in Wembley Park. We are passionate supporters of the visual arts, both in the provision and advocacy of affordable workspace as well as encouraging the public to experience original art ownership and support living artists and makers. Second Floor Studios and Arts has been a key studio provider to London’s visual arts practitioners since the late 1990’s and we’re thrilled to open our latest studio in Wembley Park, an area undergoing such an iconic regeneration. The mix of studio member is a reflection of diversity and creativity within Brent.”
The self-contained studios have been purpose built for individuals and groups. The studios range in cost (depending on size), with the most intimate spaces at 90sq ft all the way up to the biggest unit at 335sq ft.
Tenants of former SFSA schemes have gone on to exhibit in major galleries and museums across London and the world, including the Tate and National Portrait Gallery, as well as be part of London Fashion Week and other major arts events.
Second Floor Studios and Arts will be holding Open Studios on 9th and 10th June for those wishing to meet studio members explore the spaces. To find out more or to submit an application please visit: https://www.secondfloor.co.uk/studios/wembley-park-info.aspx#Studios