Artistic Policy

Studio Voltaire has developed an ambitious programme that supports a diversity of contemporary art practice and encourages access and participation from a wide range of audiences. 

The core strands to our artistic programme are: 

  • Studios and Residencies 
  • Exhibitions
  • Participation, Learning and Offsite 

Studio Voltaire’s key artistic aims are to:  

  1. Support artists, offering significant opportunities for emerging and under-represented practices. We recognise that artists require time, care, and resources to create ambitious work on their own terms.
  2. Commit to being more inclusive, creating opportunities for wider access and engagement. We strive for fairer representation across the organisation and its work.
  3. Seek to challenge hierarchies between exhibition making, commissioning and education. We work for parity between our programmes, establishing an experimental working model which allows programmes to dovetail and coalesce.
  4. Be a porous organisation and ensure audiences and partners have agency to meaningfully engage with our spaces and programmes, whether as visitors, collaborators or participants.
  5. Be a site of production and an essential artist community and resource in South London. We offer a unique environment for risk-taking, experimentation, knowledge exchange and critical thinking for artists and audiences.

Studio Voltaire plays a unique role in the UK arts ecology by supporting diverse artistic talent to take risks and realise ambition. We work with artists at a pivotal stage in their career particularly with emerging and under-represented practices. Our commissioning supports the realisation of art works that might not be possible within commercial and larger institutional frameworks, commissioning artists to produce ambitious projects on their own terms. We contribute to the cultural landscape on a national level by programming touring exhibitions and offsite projects both nationally and internationally, reaching an audience of 250,000 annually.

Our support for artists is longitudinal. We are unique in our work with artists as a not for profit organisation in that we sometimes retain an on-going relationship with artists, exhibiting and working with them on multiple occasions and across different strands of our programme. Our support includes commissioning, exhibiting, publishing, professional development and advice, project development, production support, studio visits, residencies and peer networking. Key examples of artists we have worked with on multiple occasions include Monster Chetwynd, Alexandra Bircken, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan and Bod Mellor.

Studio Voltaire has launched a transformative £2.8 million capital project, to create more artists’ studios, renovated exhibition space and new public spaces, including a dedicated learning and events space, public garden, café and the first–ever permanent House of Voltaire.  This timely and transformative redevelopment will be the most ambitious transition in our 25–year history.  As a result, we will be able to significantly increase the amount of support we can offer artists through new and expanded programming, and greater resources. 

Our range of commissioning and artistic development will continue to broaden, present and showcase a wider range of artistic voices. Our cultural offering to our local and international audiences will significantly transform with new programming and public spaces, as well as a more welcoming and porous building. Participatory, learning and offsite commissioning will support greater engagement from a diverse range of audiences including local residents, schools, community groups and health organisations. 

Studio Voltaire works in partnership with arts organisations nationally and internationally to commission, exhibit and tour work. We welcome proposals for collaboration from peer organisations and independent curators. 

Studio Voltaire is unable to accept unsolicited proposals from individual artists. 

Privacy Policy, January 2021

Statement of Intent

Studio Voltaire is one of the UK’s leading independent arts organisations. Our pioneering public programmes of exhibitions, participation projects, live events and offsite commissions have gained an international reputation for excellence. We also provide a much–needed resource of affordable and accessible on–site studios which house over 45 artists, supporting the development of a diverse range of individual and collective practices, from recent graduates to internationally recognised practitioners. 

Our pioneering Participation Programmes commission a wide range of activities and projects working in collaboration with local and international artists, local schools, individuals and community groups. Working to redefine the role of arts and culture, our learning programmes connect communities and artists to generate responses to social and cultural issues, developing a closer relationship between the artist, the production of work and an active and engaged audience. 

House of Voltaire, our innovative art and design shop sells unique artworks, limited edition prints, homewares, fashion, ceramics, books and objects by leading contemporary artists and designers. Every purchase from House of Voltaire directly supports Studio Voltaire’s exhibition and education programmes. 

We are a registered charity, registration number: 1082221 

We understand that your personal information and privacy is important to you. We make every effort to ensure that the information you share with us is recorded accurately, retained securely and used only according to your wishes. We protect your personal information and adhere to all current data protection act legislation with respect to protecting privacy. We do not give out, sell or trade our mailing list data with external organisations. We comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018. 

If you would like to know more about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 and what this means for you, then click here.


The data we collect

If you apply to work at Studio Voltaire, we will use the information you supply to us to process your application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example where we want to take up a reference or obtain a ‘disclosure’ from Disclosure Scotland or the Disclosure and Barring Service, we will not do so without informing you beforehand. 

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, after which it will be destroyed, unless you have asked us to destroy it earlier or allowed us to retain it for longer by written request. 

Studio Voltaire collects personal data that you may volunteer as part of booking tickets, making a purchase or visit, joining as a benefactor or via a donation form, e–newsletter sign–up or responding to a visitor survey. 

Personal information we collect may include: 

  • Your full name and title, date of birth 
  • Postal address, postcode, email address and phone number 
  • Marketing preferences (Monthly Exhibitions Newsletter/ Forthcoming Edition/Merchandise/Press Announcements We will also collect and hold information about any contact you have with us as a ticket buyer, visitor, donor or supporter of Studio Voltaire, and may include details of: 
  • Ticket purchases and attendance 
  • Membership and donor status, including payment details where applicable 
  • Retail purchases 
  • Contact preferences 
  • Gift information, including payment details where applicable 
  • Gift Aid status 
  • Details of correspondence sent to you, or received from you 
  • Any other information provided by yourself at the request of Studio Voltaire to process a transaction 

When we ask you to provide your personal information we will let you know why we are asking, and how we will use your data, by directing you towards this notice. Depending on your relationship with Studio Voltaire and the preferences you have indicated, data we hold may be used to send you promotional, marketing, membership or fundraising information by post, telephone or electronic means. 

These types of communications can include: 

  • Informing you of other products, services or events related to Studio Voltaire such as exhibitions, films, events or retail offers. 
  • News and updates about Studio Voltaire and marketing or supporter e– newsletters. 
  • Information on our fundraising operations, including occasional targeted requests to consider supporting us in various ways. 
  • Other relevant communications based upon your relationship with Studio Voltaire. 

We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate. If you wish to exercise any of your rights, as listed below please write to us at info@studiovoltaire.org.

  1. Access to your personal information 
  2. Objection to processing of your personal information 
  3. Objection to automated decision–making and profiling 
  4. Restriction of processing of your personal information 
  5. Your personal data portability 
  6. Rectification of your personal information 
  7. Erasure of your personal information

If you make a request relating to any of the rights listed above, we will consider each request in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. No administration fee will be charged for considering and/or complying with such a request and a response will be provided within 30 days. Upon successful verification of your identity you are entitled to obtain the following information about how your personal information is processed: 

  1. The purposes of the collection, processing, use and storage of your personal data 
  2. The source(s) of the personal information, if it was not obtained from you 
  3. The categories of personal data stored about you 
  4. The recipients or categories of recipients to whom your personal data has been or may be transmitted along with the location of those recipients 
  5. The envisaged period of storage for your personal data 
  6. The use of any automated decision–making and/or profiling. 

You can make the above request by emailing or by writing to: Laura Parker, Studio Voltaire, 1a Nelsons Row, London, SW4 7JR 



The transmission of information via the Internet or email is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of data while you are transmitting it to our site; any such transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your personal data, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access. We will process, disclose or share your personal data only if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with legal requirements or legal process served on us or the Website. 



Studio Voltaire’s premises are protected by CCTV and you may be recorded when you visit. We use CCTV to help provide a safe and secure environment for visitors, for our staff, and to prevent or detect crime.

The system is managed in accordance with our standard operating procedures and with good practice guidance issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office. CCTV images will only be accessed by authorised security staff and are stored for up to 30 days, unless flagged for review.


Third parties

You might find links to third parties (e.g. external creative organisations and suppliers) on our Website. These websites should have their own privacy policies, which you should check. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for their policies whatsoever as we have no control over them. In cases when we use external websites provided by other organisations such as Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, then we would ask you to consult their privacy policies. 


Facebook and Instagram

Third party advertisers Facebook and Instagram to help us identify customers similar to our audience or to serve relevant adverts to you on third party websites. The information shared with these advertisers is pseudonymised to protect your personal data. 


Google Analytics

When someone visits www.studiovoltaire.org or www.houseofvoltaire.org, we use Google Analytics to collect statistical data and details of visitor patterns which tell us which parts of our website visitors use most often. None of this information uses, or requires the use, of personal information and is processed in a way that does not identify individuals. We do not make any attempts to find out the identities of individuals visiting our website. 


Mailing List

We use a third party provider MailChimp to deliver our newsletter. We use MailChimp software to help gather statistics on opening rates and clicks on links which help us monitor and improve our communications. Individuals can unsubscribe at any time from newsletters by clicking the unsubscribe link on each e–newsletter. You can view MailChimp’s privacy notice here. 



We use a third party provider Vimeo to share our video content. We use Vimeo to help gather statistics on opening rates and clicks on links which help us monitor and improve our communications. You can view Vimeo’s privacy notice here. 



We use a third party provider Soundcloud to share our audio content. We use Soundcloud to help gather statistics on opening rates and clicks on links which help us monitor and improve our communications. You can view Soundcloud’s privacy notice here. 


Online ticketing

The information you provide when booking tickets online will be used primarily to protect your purchases and attendance at events and also keep you informed about future activities. Please note if you book online for cinema tickets your data is processed by Eventbrite which has its own privacy policy. 



Responses to questions collated by The Audience Agency are all anonymous. If you choose to share your email address and sign-up to the Gallery’s e-newsletters, the personal data you provide in this transaction is stored with our secure online mailing partner, Mailchimp (see above).


Applying for a job

The personal data you provide in order to apply for a job is stored in a restricted access filing system and used for the purposes of shortlisting and interviewing. The information will be deleted six months after the deadline for that job. The legal basis for this is to fulfil a contract.

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if you believe your data has been processed in a way that does not comply with data protection. You can do so by calling the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113 or via their website

Donations Policy, May 2021

The following policy, introduced in May 2021, sets out Studio Voltaire’s approach to accepting donations.

The purpose of the Donations Policy is to enable Studio Voltaire to maximise its income from fundraising to achieve its charitable aims, while at all times acting ethically and with due diligence.

Studio Voltaire is a registered charity (Registered Charity No: 1082221) and part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.

The core aims and objectives of the organisation are:

  • To promote the creation of contemporary art
  • To support the presentation of contemporary art practice
  • To widen access to contemporary art
  • To harness the visual arts as a vehicle for further education and learning

Studio Voltaire receives public funding from Arts Council England which equates to just under 10% of its annual income.

All of Studio Voltaire’s programmes, as well as remaining overheads, are fundraised for in their entirety through a range of sources including:

  • Donations and the patronage of individuals
  • Sponsorship
  • Funding from charitable trusts and foundations

As a charity, Studio Voltaire has a duty to be transparent and accountable, to use both the public and private funds it receives wisely, and to deliver its charitable aims for the benefit of the public.

Studio Voltaire’s Board of Trustees has legal responsibility for the charity’s management and administration and is responsible for determining Studio Voltaire’s policy and approach regarding fundraising and donor relations. Trustees should be aware of key policies on accepting donations and when necessary, will play a role in the decision–making process where issues of high risk are identified.

In all cases, donations will be considered in line with our statutory obligations and charitable aims with particular reference to Charity Commission guidance, including the Charity Commission’s Due Diligence toolkit, SORP (FRS102).


Donations and the patronage of individuals
For donations over £10,000, all donors will be subject to an initial screening.

The initial screening comprises a search of publicly available material, designed to highlight potential areas of controversy or concern. This will usually involve a combination of news searches on Google (or a similar web search engine), and a registry check (with Companies House data). The initial screening will be conducted by the Development team.

If any areas of concern are found, the findings of the initial screening will be shared with the Director, who will refer to The Board of Trustees (see Referrals to the Board of Trustees).

Wherever practical this process will take place before a donation is secured.

Studio Voltaire will make every possible effort to find the source of cash donations that reach it anonymously.


Studio Voltaire actively seeks partnerships with external organisations to achieve shared objectives. However, Studio Voltaire always maintains its independence and will end partnerships where Studio Voltaire is brought into disrepute or is at risk of being brought into disrepute. 
Partnerships with external organisations do not express or imply Studio Voltaire’s endorsement of the external organisation, its activities or its policies.

Appropriate partnerships and revenue will be accepted for any projects that support Studio Voltaire’s priorities. Businesses in sectors that have attracted negative press attention, or a business involved in a highly–publicised trial, may be examined for suitability.

For all sponsorship over £10,000 an initial screening (as above) will take place. Standard checks will be made in relation to the company’s sector, its corporate register and listed company details in country of origin and of its parent or associated companies, if relevant, and more generally in relation to its regulatory jurisdiction.

If any areas of concern are found, the findings of the initial screening will be shared with the Director, who will refer to The Board of Trustees (see Referrals to the Board of Trustees).


Funding from charitable trusts and foundations
Donations and grants of any size from charitable foundations registered with the appropriate regulatory authorities, will not normally be subject to review.

For the United Kingdom: This means charities regulated and scrutinised by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

For the United States of America: This means tax–exempt, non–profit corporations or associations recognised under section 501(c) regulated and scrutinised by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the relevant state Attorney General.

For Europe: In the absence of any equivalent regulatory framework covering Europe, the European Foundation Centre (EFC) has openly published its principles of good practice to which all affiliated organisations have to adhere.

However, in exceptional circumstances, a registered charitable foundation may be subject to an initial screening (as above).

If any areas of concern are found, the findings of the initial screening will be shared with the Director, who will refer to The Board of Trustees (see Referrals to the Board of Trustees).


Referrals To The Board Of Trustees
Where deemed necessary, as laid out above, the Director will consult with at least two board members before taking decisions on accepting funding.

The confidential advice and opinions of individuals who have knowledge of the specific funders and/or context in which they operate, commercially or personally, may also be sought.

If deemed necessary, the Director and board members may decide to take a secondary review by the full Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees will act and rely on the material put before it but may require further research to be conducted before it takes a decision. Professional search firms and international due diligence providers may be used if deemed appropriate by the Board of Trustees.

Minutes will be kept of the discussions and key points, together with the research material, reports and supporting documents. These will be stored electronically on Studio Voltaire’s server, in accordance with the organisation’s Data Protection Policy.

The Board of Trustees retain overall responsibility for decisions regarding the acceptance and refusal of donations.


Accepting Sponsors and Donations
Studio Voltaire may not accept funds in circumstances when:

  • The donation is made totally anonymously, through an intermediary who is not prepared to identify the donor to anyone at Studio Voltaire
  • The donor has acted, or is believed to have acted, illegally in the acquisition of funds, for example when funds are tainted through being the proceeds of criminal conduct
  • When acceptance of the funds would, in the judgment of the Board of Trustees, significantly damage the effective operation of Studio Voltaire in delivering its mission

and/or whether because such acceptance would:

  • Harm Studio Voltaire’s relationship with other donors, partners, audiences or stakeholders
  • Create unacceptable conflicts of interest
  • Materially damage the reputation of Studio Voltaire
  • Detrimentally affect the ability of Studio Voltaire to fulfil its mission in any other way than is mentioned above

Private donations present different risks to other sources of revenue and must be managed appropriately with consideration that donors may have motives other than philanthropy. Risks include:

  • Legal risk: if the donor has generated the funds through underlying illegal activity, accepting a donation could breach legislation such as the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which could expose the organisation to legal or regulatory challenge
  • Financial risk: if the donor cannot honour the donation in full or in part and the organisation is heavily reliant on the anticipated donation funding key strategic expenditure
  • Reputational risk: if accepting the donation creates an association with an individual or entity which is perceived to be inappropriate or unethical by other stakeholders. This would include the perception of the public, employees and other significant donors
  • Dependency risk: if accepting the donation gives the donor an undue level of influence over a charity and its trustees

When considering a partnership, Studio Voltaire will retain the right to decline a sponsorship or donation if:

  • The actions of the donor are damaging to the institution, its reputation or its beneficiaries
  • The reputation or activities of the donor risks discouraging other donors
  • Acceptance might give the impression that the donor expects the institution or anyone associated with it to perform some function or activity improperly, or to confer upon them some form of advantage (for example, influencing a tendering process)
  • The cost of servicing the sponsorship or donation is greater than its value, or unreasonable in terms of its size or impact on the work of the institution
  • The offer of support is tied to a particular project or activity which reflecting the institution’s objectives, is nevertheless impractical
  • There is suspicion of money laundering


Approved by Studio Voltaire’s Board of Trustees: May 2021.

Next review date: May 2022.