Gasworks has received a £1million commitment from Arts Council England towards the purchase and renovation of its building. Established in 1994, Gasworks is a contemporary art organisation based in South London, housing eleven artists’ studios and offering a programme of exhibitions and events, artists’ residencies, international fellowships and educational projects. Seven studios are rented to London-based artists and four are reserved for the International Residency Programme for non-UK based artists.
This is the first of a two-stage process and launches a £1.8 million capital campaign to secure the future of the organisation. The capital development project will represent a significant investment in emerging artists and in the cultural life in the capital. Gasworks provides studios for London-based artists and delivers a programme of international artists’ residencies, exhibitions and participatory activities. Gasworks is also the hub of the Triangle Network, a network of artists and art organisations in over 30 countries around the world.
The pledge from Arts Council England is a huge step towards realising Gasworks’ once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase and refurbish the building that has been its base for the last twenty years.
The timely purchase and refurbishment of Gasworks will safeguard the future of its provisions in an area of London undergoing extensive regeneration including the Vauxhall and Nine Elms’ redevelopment (with new landmarks such as The Tower, the new American Embassy, Embassy Gardens and the Albert Embankment regeneration project), and the creation of ‘Vauxhall One’ Business Improvement District (BID).
In developing the project Gasworks has carried out extensive consultation with artists, local residents, community leaders and local teachers. The London borough of Lambeth has endorsed the project by awarding a grant to support the development phase of the project. The capital campaign to raise the £800,000 required to match the £1 million pledge from Arts Council England will be formally launched in April 2013. Donations will be sought from individuals, the corporate sector and trusts and foundations; and in October 2013 a charity auction of donated artworks will be held at Christies, the proceeds of which will support the project. Gasworks will make a second stage submission, with their developed proposals, to Arts Council England within the next eighteen months for final Capital Investment Programme funding.
Alessio Antoniolli, Director, Gasworks & Triangle Network, said, ‘We are delighted that the Arts Council is generously supporting the ambitious purchase, refurbishment and redevelopment of Gasworks. This vital funding will secure the future of our organisation and enable us to significantly expand the important work we do by providing affordable studio space for leading artists in central London, while acting as a hub for other grass-roots artists’ organisations worldwide. We look forward to developing the architectural plans for our unique building, improving our gallery, education and studio spaces while proactively seeking the remaining support and funding to realise our project.’
Peter Heslip, Director of Visual Arts, Arts Council England said: ‘Gasworks offered a compelling proposal and was successful at Stage 1 in a competitive capital round. We are delighted that this will now offer Gasworks the opportunity to purchase its building and secure its future. This National Portfolio Organisation plays an important role developing artists early in their careers and introducing international artists to the UK. We recognise the importance of the project which makes a difference to artists working and living in London and look forward to working closely with Gasworks as they develop this scheme for a second stage submission within the next eighteen months.
The exhibition’s space accommodates four main projects a year, as well as a series of small-scale events. The programme includes solo and thematic exhibitions, screenings, workshops and seminars. Gasworks focuses on visual arts practice in its broadest sense, including design, documentary filmmaking and media art, amongst other areas of activity. These are all linked by a commitment to constantly reassess the position of artists within their wider cultural, social and political frameworks. The residencies and exhibitions programmes regularly cooperate, often to facilitate research and production for international artists invited to develop a project for the exhibitions and events programme.