Since 1968, the artist-led organisation SPACE has provided studios and opportunities to artists. 50 years on, how can emerging artists today make space for themselves in cities like London?
This special event invites artist and co-founder of SPACE Peter Sedgley and one-time SPACE resident Robin Klassnik (Director, Matt’s Gallery) into dialogue with a new generation of artist-led organisations, including Auto Italia’s Kate Cooper, Canan Batur of clearview ltd. and artist and researcher Naomi Pearce (The Woodmill).
Moderated by Director of SPACE Anna Harding, the discussion will consider the histories and present realities of running self-initiated organisations in London.
Organised in collaboration with SPACE, this event accompanies the publication Artists in the City: SPACE in ’68 and beyond. This event is supported by SPACE and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation.
Peter Sedgley was born in 1930 in London and educated in Building and Architecture at the School of Building, Brixton. He worked as an architectural assistant from 1950 to 1960, and in 1961 trained as a radar mechanic in the RAF. Since 1962, he has worked as an autodidact in painting, kinetic art and light sculpture installations. He has received art and architectural commissions and awards, has exhibited widely and has been represented in international collections, including: the 9th Mainichi International Biennale, Tokyo, Japan, prize-winner of Education Ministers Award, 1966; Founding member of AIR and SPACE, 1968–72; Stipendiat of German Academic Exchange Service, Berlin Artist Programme, 1970; and the 42nd Venice Biennale, Art and Science, 1986. Peter Sedgley continues to work in Berlin and Worthing, Sussex.
Robin Klassnik has been the director of Matt’s Gallery since 1979. Some of the UK’s leading contemporary artists are represented by Matt’s Gallery, including Willie Doherty, a 2003 Turner Prize nominee, Susan Hiller, Richard Grayson, Nathaniel Mellors, 2001 Turner Prize nominee Mike Nelson, and Lindsay Seers. In 1994 Klassnik was short-listed for the Prudential/Arts Council Award for an individual contribution to innovation and creativity in the Arts.
Kate Cooper (b.1984, Liverpool, UK) lives and works in London and Amsterdam. She is the Director and co-founder of the London based, artist-led organisation Auto Italia and is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie Amsterdam. Solo exhibitions include Piece Unique, Cologne, Germany (2016); Care Work, Der Würfel, Neumeister Bar-Am, Berlin (2015); Experiments in Absorption, ABC, Berlin (2015); and Rigged, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2014).
Canan Batur is an independent curator and a radio show host based in London. She is co-founder of clearview, a project spaced based in North London and a member of the curatorial bureau of the Baltic Triennial 13 (Vilnius, Tallinn, Riga). She also provides records behind the counter at the legendary record store, Sounds of the Universe. Her research focuses on ways to break the exhibition format through music as well as developing strategies to liberate art through music. Recently, she obtained a MA in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London. She previously worked with Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, Cell Project Space, Chisenhale Gallery, The Moving Museum and Istanbul Modern Museum.
Naomi Pearce is a writer and producer living in Glasgow. She is co-founder of the Woodmill, an artist-led studio and gallery project based in Bermondsey, South London, from 2009 to 2014. Recent projects include 56 Artillery Lane at Raven Row, London (co-curated with Amy Budd). She is co-editor of A-OR-ISTjournal and a current AHRC-funded PhD candidate in Art at the University of Edinburgh (supervised by Maria Fusco and Dr Elizabeth Reeder).
Anna Harding has been chief executive at SPACE since 2005. After her MA she worked as a volunteer at the AIR Gallery in 1985. She then worked at the Whitechapel Gallery, John Hansard Gallery Southampton, Hayward Gallery and Camerawork London before becoming director of Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, 1989–92. She set up the MA Creative Curating at Goldsmiths where she was programme director from 1995 to 2003. She has published several books including Curating: The Contemporary Art Museum and Beyond (Art & Design, 1997); Potential: Ongoing Archive (Artimo, Amsterdam, 2000); and Magic Moments: collaboration between artists and young people (Black Dog, 2006).