Category: News

ASC office moves to new creative workspace, The Handbag Factory

Ahead of The Handbag Factory’s official launch in November 2023, the ASC main office has moved to its new creative coworking venue and event space.

The Handbag Factory is a new affordable coworking venue based in Vauxhall which promises a unique workspace for professionals and practitioners in and around the creative industries.

The space, managed by Artists Studio Company (ASC), includes over 60 coworking desks, along with a meeting room, refurbished event hire space, and a permanent public art gallery. Doors first opened on 5th October, with a launch evening planned on Thursday 23rd November that will showcase the venue, introduce ASC and The Handbag Factory to the local creative community and welcome individuals and organisations working in arts and culture. 

In the lead-up to its opening, ASC has completed an office move to the new location from our previous headquarters at The Chaplin Centre, Thurlow Street. 

You can now find the ASC team at The Handbag Factory, 3 Loughborough Street, London SE11 5RB with office opening hours from 10 – 5pm.

Canalside Gallery opens with exhibition in June 2023

Artists’ Studio Company (ASC) is excited to launch its newest project space, Canalside Gallery at the Ealing Road studios in Alperton in June 2023. 

Canalside Gallery is situated in one of three blocks that make up the Ealing Road site of permanent, purpose built, affordable creative workspaces, which are home to more than 40 artists, designers and makers. The gallery overlooks the Grand Union Canal. 

Canalside Gallery is a flexible project space which aims to benefit the artists and makers in the building and to support activities and projects that benefit their practice and professional development. Building on ASC’s charitable mission to support and promote artists, the space will be free to use to exhibit works; hold events and presentations; host workshops and activities; and build connections with the local community and ASC partners.

The gallery opens with an exhibition by current ASC artist Warren Reilly from 12th to 17th June, who has been the recipient of a free studio for two years at Ealing Road. The exhibition marks the end of Warren’s two years and highlights projects that he has completed during this time, including Union Ain’t Jack and Modern Hallows. Visitors can book to attend the exhibition, which includes a private view on 15th June, 6-9pm, and a late viewing on 17th June, 7-9pm.

Following the exhibition, ASC will offer a one year free studio to a local artist/maker, due to begin in July-August 2023.

Presenting ‘The Legal Stage’ Live Art Programme

Performance artist Philip Ewe initiates his new not-for-profit live art platform with ‘The Legal Stage I’ at ASC Cleaver Street, Kennington

In January ASC Cleaver Street hosted ‘The Legal Stage’, the first event from the new not-for-profit live art platform initiated by performance artist Philip Ewe responding to the former Lambeth County Courthouses at ASC’s Courthouse Project Space.

The event presented a subversive programme of live work from artists Liv Fontaine, William Joys, Bernard Walsh, Deniz Ünal and Philip Ewe himself to a full audience.

In an arts landscape that is struggling with funding cuts and a political landscape of fraudulant rhethoric The Legal Stage responded to its judicial setting with risky, ephemeral and traditionally un-commercial live work whilst keeping the event open to all. It is supported by ASC as host, building on our charitable mission to support artists and educate the public in the arts.

Bernard Walsh, reading ‘Is this a dagger? A case for why Art is not a subject that should be taught?’ at The Legal Stage, London, UK (2022). Photo: © Tom Hall / The Legal Stage

William Joys, live performance at The Legal Stage, London, UK (2022). Photo: © Tom Hall / The Legal Stage

Philip Ewe, live performance at The Legal Stage, London, UK (2022). Photo: © Tom Hall / The Legal Stage

Deniz Ünal, live performance at The Legal Stage, London, UK (2022). Photo: © Tom Hall / The Legal Stage

Liv Fontaine, live performance at The Legal Stage, London, UK (2022). Photo: © Tom Hall / The Legal Stage

About the event

‘The Legal Stage’ is not-for-profit artist led live programme in the former Lambeth County Courthouse in Kennington, London. In an arts landscape that is struggling with funding cuts and amid a cost of living crisis we’ve instigated an ethical artist-led framework without any funding. Based in risky, ephemeral and traditionally un-commercial live work whilst keeping the event open to all.

Hanaa Mallalah featured in ArtForum

Artist Hanaa Malallah (ASC Grafton Road) has recently been featured in ArtForum’s article UNVANQUISHED: Amin Alsaden on Iraq’s art under two decades of occupation, in their March 2023 issue.

Hanaa has recently completed an exhibition at The Cube, ASC Grafton Road’s project space, with her work filmed and featured by BBC Arabic.

You can find out more about Hanaa Malallah at her website.

A SPLATTERING of black, white, and red binds a mass of darkly clothed brown bodies. Media outlets relish such portrayals of protesters carrying Iraqi flags in the rallies that erupt regularly in Baghdad, indicative of the strife that has beset Iraq in recent years. The images are understandably appealing: They possess a sense of drama, even an epic quality; perhaps those scenes also resonate with a disgruntled world numbed by pervasive injustices. In the same photographs, a colossal structure often appears, one not dissimilar to the demonstrators’ signs, rising above the crowds: the July 14th Monument, colloquially known as the Tahrir or Liberty Monument, a friezelike bronze-and-travertine structure more than 160 feet long, by artist Jewad Selim (1920–1961) and architect Rifat Chadirji (1926–2020).


Few artists have captured the decimation of Iraqi life by the American-led invasion and by previous conflicts as consistently as Hanaa Malallah (b. 1958), who observed the wrecking of her country in one war after another until she finally left three years into the occupation. Also a close associate of Al Said’s, Malallah has created an extensive body of work predicated on the notion of incineration. She has routinely burned her materials, and has weathered, aged, and distressed her canvases, with the aim of suggesting a general state of decay, of omnipresent death. Shroud IV, 2012, is more like a compressed wall-mounted sculpture than a painting; its dense surface resembles a landscape that has been ruined by a blazing fire. There is an underlying order, a grid of sorts, that modulates the unwieldy pouches of scorched and twisted canvas. Inside the folded fabric, and strewn in between, are little lumps of soil, seeds, small twigs, fragments of amulets, and even parts of taxidermied birds that seem to have been embalmed for some impenetrable burial ritual. This piece speaks to the indiscriminate fury of war, but I also see it as connoting the senseless erosion of the organically and painstakingly built artistic culture of Iraq—a deterioration that Malallah, as a participant in and beneficiary of that culture, witnessed.

Full article available on ArtForum.

Slade Mid-Year Show 2023: ‘Slide a Glance’

Throughout January 2023, ASC Gallery will host the Slade Postgraduate mid-year show. The event offers MA/MFA Painting students in their final year the opportunity to exhibit work ahead of their degree show.

This will be the fourth time that ASC has hosted a mid-year show with the Slade, providing students a space to develop their practice in off-site projects. 

In 2018, the first link between ASC Studios and UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art was established with ‘The Field’. This exhibition featured 22 first-year MA Painting students and was initiated by ex-ASC Studios artist Sarah Tew. This relationship continued in 2019 with ‘Pulling Teeth’, also featuring first-year Fine Art MA students.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, this link was reestablished in 2022 with an adjusted focus on final-year students across the mixed MA/MFA Fine Art in ‘Why Don’t You Dance?’. This year, we are delighted to again welcome 18 final-year Slade students to ASC with their exhibition, ‘Slide a Glance’.

Darren O’Brien, Exhibitions Director at ASC, says:

“Since 2018, ASC has been happy to host the Slade MA Painting students in ASC Gallery’s January opening show. It has worked well giving young artists a chance to curate and show in a professional setting, get a taste of what post college life is like, and push their work forwards and upwards.”

‘Slide a Glance’ will commence with a private view on Friday 13th January, 6-9pm, at the ASC Gallery. It continues until Monday 27th January with opening hours on weekdays from 10am – 5pm.

We would like to share our thanks to Slade Painting tutor Lisa Milroy for her enthusiasm in starting the relationship between ASC Studios and Slade School of Fine Art back in 2018.


Image from Slade MA show at ASC Gallery, January 2022, ‘Why Don’t You Dance’

ASC Hilbert: An international exchange

As our exchange with Berlin’s HilbertRaum continues with an exhibition at the ASC Gallery, we reflect on a series of ASC Hilbert projects over the past year.

ASC Hilbert is a collaborative series connecting London’s ASC Studios and Gallery with Berlin’s HilbertRaum. More than just a series of shows, ASC Hilbert is a surface of contact for the art communities of the two cities spanning the course of several years. 

The aim of this long term collaboration is to not only introduce exciting fresh art to a new audience, but also help facilitate lasting connections between art professionals in the two cities, and thus support the development of early and mid-career artists. To contribute to this aim, ASC Hilbert has begun its international exchange with a series of events across both venues in 2022.

In April 2022, the first exhibition – titled A Faint Ground – kicked off the project in Berlin at the  HilbertRaum gallery. ASC artists Karolina Albricht and Darren O’Brien travelled to Berlin and exhibited with German artists Heike Kelter, Hannah Rath and Betinna Weiss.

“Recently I was trying to remember the feeling of fresh grass under bare feet. The sensation of the grass between my toes, its delicate and earthy feeling, cool and green. To some degree looking at artworks can be like the feeling of fresh grass under bare feet. Eyes register the artwork as a whole, taking it in, searching for links, but then sense the surface, its unique detail, its thread, its pitch. With our eyes we walk the faint ground like our feet feel the fresh grass. In this age of uncertainty what is certain is the ground beneath us.” – Darren O’Brien, ASC Gallery

A Faint Ground, May 2022, HilbertRaum

Also shown at HilbertRaum was Naked Flames, an exhibition in August that presented a dialogue of disciplines in “a world where everything flows and nothing is still”.

Artists from ASC Brixton Studios – Georgios Mavridis, Ania Tomaszewska- Nelson, and Timothy Haccius – travelled from London to Berlin with their artwork to exhibit. The Berlin artists who featured in the exhibition were Jurgen Grewe, Mirka Raito, Hildergard Skowasch and Isabelle Fein.


Naked Flames, August 2022, HilbertRaum

The return leg of this ongoing project, ‘We Were Made in the Dark’, exhibited at ASC Gallery from late October to early November. The event received funding from Finnish organisation Frame Finland and aims to shift focus from the negatives of a post-Brexit landscape and foster pan-European connections that give opportunities to artists, and vice versa.

Berlin-based Finnish artist Niina Lehtonen Braun came to London with her art performance group, Jokaklubi, to show a new series of drawings and to take part in Jokaklubi’s ‘The Theory Show’ performance. Alongside this, Harriet Hill performed and exhibited one of her wearable sculptures. ASC artists Laura Wormell and Adam Hennessey showed new paintings and drawings.

Jokaklubi performance, We Were Made in the Dark, October 2022, ASC Gallery

ASC looks forward to continuing this exchange with HilbertRaum, and we are excited to see future iterations of events and cross-collaboration between artists through this project.

ASC Streatham Hill – Artist in Residence Awarded to Shane Sutherland

Feature image credit: D. Wiafe

Artists’ Studio Company (ASC) is delighted to announce visual artist and photographer Shane Sutherland (@shane_sutherland) as our new Artist in Residence at ASC Streatham Hill. Shane’s two-year free workspace residency begins in September 2022.

Shane is a photographic and video artist of Jamaican descent, based in the borough of Lambeth in London. Their work utilises both analogue and digital processes to regenerate power within the Black subject. Film, archival media and theoretical texts are used to explore themes of, and themes adjacent to, the nuances and intersections of Black identity and experience.

The recent introduction of VR and photogrammetry in Shane’s practice, in combination with 3D software, is a new and exciting phase. With the possible introduction of game design and AR technology in future work, we look forward to seeing how their work progresses during their time in the studio!

Shane is also co-founder of London-based charity ‘Decolonised Networking’ and has previously worked in anti-racism & decolonial advocacy within higher education. They have also recently just directed and produced an Afrofuturist Sci-Fi short film: OSUPA

In 2021 Lambeth Council agreed to help fund ASC’s purchase of its site in Streatham Hill through the Future Workspace Fund and provided a grant of £200,000 through the First Round of funding. ASC’s Artists in Residence Scheme is one of a number of new initiatives we are launching in Lambeth which have only been made possible with this purchase. We are grateful for their support.

The Artist in Residence scheme was developed to offer a Lambeth-based creative the use of a free studio space for two years, as well as the opportunity to exhibit in the ASC Gallery and Lambeth Town Hall. Shane was selected from nearly 100 applications and selected by a panel with representatives from ASC and Lambeth Council. Shane says:

“I feel so blessed to be awarded this studio residency with ASC. Having access to studio space will evolve my practice in ways I’ve not been able to previously and help me create with my community in mind.”

“We are really excited to have Shane join us for two years and are pleased to be able to offer this support. ASC’s Artists in Residence Scheme is one of a number of new initiatives we are launching in Lambeth which have only been made possible with the purchase of 47c Streatham Hill. Artists and creatives are struggling to afford to live and work in London. […] The purchase of 47c Streatham Hill has secured the workspaces of 57 local artists and protected an amazing creative community in perpetuity. This purchase was only possible with grant funding from Lambeth Council’s Future Workspace Fund.” – Peter Flack, Chief Executive, ASC

ASC is the leading charitable provider of affordable workspaces for artists and creatives in the capital, supporting thousands of innovators since it was established in 1993. Our core aims are to support artists and makers, promote the arts and educate the public in the arts. This is the charity’s third opportunity to support an artist or designer-maker in their community by providing free workspace. Textile artist Warren Reilly has just completed the first of a two-year residency and graphic artist Yoni Alter before him, both at ASC Ealing Road in Alperton, with the support of Brent Council.