Participation

Studio Voltaire commissions a wide range of activities and projects working in collaboration with artists, local organisations, schools, community groups and groups of individuals.

Closely integrated with the Exhibitions Programme, our Participation Programme often addresses notions of collaboration. We have developed a strong track record of commissioning contemporary artists to work with people to produce new artworks, projects and commissions, these include: The Oscar Wilde TempleThey Are Here, Sol Calero, Monster Chetwynd, Ed Webb–Ingall and Rehana Zaman.

This programme aims to develop a closer relationship between the artist, the production of work and an active, contributing audience. Projects take place in the gallery as well as offsite.

If you are from a community, school or college group and would like to a tour of the gallery or to learn more about our Participation Programmes, please contact Laura Harford, Curator (Participation) on laura@studiovoltaire.org or 0207 622 1294.


Current Project

The Oscar Wilde Temple Arts Group

We are thrilled to partner with national LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity The Albert Kennedy Trust, on a wide–reaching participation programme, offering six months of workshops, events, mentoring and professional development for young people, in partnership with leading artists, writers and designers.

The Oscar Wilde Temple Arts Group is open to anyone aged 16-25 who identifies as LGBTQ+. The group will draw inspiration from our current exhibition, The Oscar Wilde Temple by McDermott & McGough, to explore queer and trans art history and politics, collaborating with artists to make their own work. The group will also take part in archive visits, events and workshops.

The Winter programme (February–April 2019) is hosted by writer and filmmaker Juliet Jacques and will explore different forms of writing, including: short stories, fiction and life writing.

Juliet Jacques has published two books: Rayner Heppenstall: A Critical Study (Dalkey Archive, 2007) and Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2015). Her short fiction, essays and criticism have appeared in Granta, The Guardian, The White Review, Sight & Sound, Filmwaves, Cineaste, Frieze, London Review of Books and many other publications and websites.

Forthcoming Events

Writing Workshops:

Sunday 24 February 2019, 2–5pm
Sunday 10 March 2019, 2–5pm
Sunday 24 March 2019, 2–5pm
Sunday 7 April 2019, 2–5pm

Closing Event:

Thursday 18 April 2019, 6.30-8.30pm

All events take place at Studio Voltaire, Clapham SW4 7JR. Travel support and refreshments are available to all participants. You are welcome to join one or all of the sessions.

Joining The Oscar Wilde Temple Arts Group

For more information and to join The Oscar Wilde Temple Arts Group please contact laura@studiovoltaire.org, call 0207 622 1294, or use the contact form below.


Selected Previous Projects

Precarity Centre: SW4 7JR, Organised by They Are Here

If a former chapel is now a gallery, what might it become next? Artist collective They Are Here transformed Studio Voltaire into Precarity Centre – a social project offering free workshops and activities. Precarity Centre was an experiment in what a gallery can be and what might take place there.

Precarity Centre was an itinerant, conceptual framework for an interdisciplinary programme of talks, workshops and performances, exploring and mitigating against precarity.[1]

[1] Precarity is a precarious existence, lacking in predictability, job security, material or psychological welfare. The social class defined by this condition has been termed the precariat.

Precarity Centre was also an experiment in social space, seeding interaction between local precarious groups, the arts community and those who work in the public sector. The project echoed the multi–layered activities of community centres, which continue to suffer disinvestment across London and the wider UK. Precarity Centre was intended to be relevant to local concerns, whilst bridging diverse forms of inquiry and knowledge.

They Are Here stressed that this project was not a substitute for public services or organised campaigning to support public services. Flyers and literature advertising existing social support work was displayed on site, working with neighbourhood groups to amplify their activities.

All events were free, and welcomed all on a drop in basis.

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We have rather been invaded, Ed Webb-Ingall

In 2016, Studio Voltaire commissioned British filmmaker Ed Webb-Ingall to undertake a project which looked at the impact and legacy of Section 28, partnering with the British Film Institute and METRO.

Webb–Ingall worked with a group of 15 LGBTQ+ young people to collate visual and textual material and collaboratively produce a new film, in response to the invasion of a broadcast of the BBC Six O’Clock news by four lesbians protesting against Section 28 in 1988.

Their research delved into queer archives, graphic and typographic design as well as performance and writing exercises, in order to create visual manifestations and interpretations to further their understanding and interpretation of the 1988 protest act. The resulting film explores the invasion and its representation as a form of collective action against Section 28. Elements of the resulting film were presented at Studio Voltaire during Sharon Hayes’ exhibition In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You, 15 April–5 June 2016.

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Not Our Class

From autumn 2011 to 2013, Studio Voltaire ran Not Our Class, a two-year pilot programme of educational and participatory projects, utilising both research and practice to investigate the legacy and potentials of the work of Jo Spence in relation to contemporary life and culture.

Through a series of commissions, offsite projects, workshops, public events and reading groups, situated within both Studio Voltaire’s neighbourhood and a wider contemporary art discourse, the programme explored the turn towards education and participation within contemporary art practice. Not Our Class had a multifarious span of activity, including new commissions by artists Marysia Lewandowska, working with the Jo Spence Memorial Archive, Rehana Zaman, working with King’s College Hospital and Body & Soul and the active participatory research group X Marks The Spot, originally based at Lambeth Women’s Project.

A series of workshops also took place between artist Conal McStravick and Intoart, and running parallel to all projects was a series of free reading groups, hosted in collaboration with Claire de Rouen Books and open to all.

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