Today Second Floor Studios and Arts (SFSA) announced that it has secured tenants for 50% of the 26 affordable studio spaces available at Wembley Park.
Of the thirteen studios now let, over half have been confirmed for local artists – a major boost for the local arts community and an opportunity for designers, artists and makers to showcase their talents within the Borough. With the London Borough of Brent currently ramping up its bid to become the London Borough of Culture 2020 this is a timely announcement.
Local artists confirmed to move into the spaces include photographer Amanda Rose and fashion designer and maker Shilpa Bilimoria, who have both been featured as part of the People of Wembley Park project. Brent based documentary makers Turab Shah and Arwa Aburawa and local illustrator, animator and printmaker Cliodhna Lyons will also join the studio member list alongside Fine Artist Sophie Lerner – a local full time mother returning to her art after 14 years.
The new studios at are being brought forward by a partnership of Quintain, the developer behind the regeneration of Wembley Park, Second Floor Studios & Arts (or SFSA) and Brent Council. The project will see 6,300 sq ft of collective affordable studio space created, offering a long-term solution for artists and makers looking to develop their skills and further their own talents and creative businesses.
Tenants of former SFSA studios have gone on to exhibit in major galleries and museums across London and the world, including the Tate and National Portrait Gallery and shown collections at London Fashion Week.
As well as providing affordable studios Second Floor Studios & Arts (or 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 time bank system where in exchange for the lower rents artists are being charged, they set aside one hour a month of their time which is then given to the community. More details on this will be announced early next year when further studios are released across Wembley Park.
Speaking about the milestone at Wembley Park, Nichole Herbert Wood, Second Floor Studios & Arts, said:
“Reaching half occupancy within a month of announcing the studios, gives us the confidence that we have selected the right location and partners to continue to grow our commitment of affordable, long term studio space in London. We have studio members joining us who have trained in some of London’s greatest art institutions such as The Slade, The Royal College of Art, UAL and Central St Martins.”
” It has been brilliant to see the widespread interest from the established art and maker community and we are excited to be a part of this wider cultural movement in Wembley. The amazing transport links are making this site an ideal location for career artists needing to link into central London on a regular basis.”
Speaking about moving her work to Wembley Park, Amanda Rose, a local photographer said:
“It is a fantastic feeling knowing that I will be moving into a studio that better supports my work, joining a wonderful and growing artistic community – all whilst remaining in the area that I grew up in. Moving my work to Wembley Park will be an important step in my career and I am looking forward to dedicating time to work on projects that truly benefit the community.”
Speaking about the partnership between SFSA, Quintain and Brent Council, James Saunders, Chief Operating Officer at Quintain, said:
“Quintain is proud to be working with Second Floor Studios & Arts and supporting a blossoming creative community here in Brent. It is good to see our efforts to make Wembley Park a new home for creativity start to pay off and it is great that so many of the artists moving in are local. We hope that the interest in the studio space continues to build and to welcoming the first studio members in December.”
Wembley Park is fast becoming a centre for creativity and culture within Brent. In September Quintain announced that Boxpark Wembley would be opening providing 29 independent food and beverage places and a 2,000 capacity events space. The area has also recently been transformed by street art from Mr Doodle as part of the Wembley Street Art Project and last week hosted the MTV EMA Awards in The SSE Arena, Wembley.
The self-contained studios, purpose built for individuals and groups of practitioners are due to open in December 2017. The studios will range in cost (depending on size), with the most intimate space set at 90sq ft all the way up to the biggest unit at 335sq ft.
Applications are still being accepted and studios are being allocated and deposited. Priority will be given to those living and working in Brent. Please email expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online enquiry form