Calling Barbers, Bakers & Model Makers
The Old Library on Drury Lane is preparing to reopen as part of The Art House following a £3m restoration project and transformation into creative studios– but space is not just for traditional artists, according to the arts organisation. The Art House is now looking for fixers, growers and makers of things to join in.
Stuart Tulloch, Artistic Director of The Art House explains: “The building will be home to a number of artists who make things that are commonly thought of as art, design and craft. We want to challenge preconceived ideas of what art and creativity is and its value to society, and create a place for people from a wide variety of backgrounds with a broad range of interests and occupations - artisans, designers, engineers, inventors and makers of all kinds. As well as being for those already pursuing their ambitions, we want to hear from people who fancy room to turn their spare-hour interest into something serious.”
Stuart continues: “The Art House was born from a vision to provide a fully accessible building without physical barriers to anyone wishing to pursue a career in the arts. I want to fulfil this ambition by making it a place for people from diverse backgrounds and interests to share.”
The first intake of tenants have just moved into studios, with traditional craft makers, artists, photographers and film makers taking up studios alongside a freelance writer, a costume designer and a record label.
The Art House are now inviting people to propose how they could join the community and add further to the occupations and interests of those basing themselves in The Old Library.
Stuart adds “I’m open to conversations with anyone who considers what they do to be creative.”
Printmaker and textile artist Laura Slater who has had a studio in The Art House since it opened in 2008, and will be taking on an additional studio in The Old Library said today: “The new studios really appealed to me because they will give me the chance to be in and amongst a diverse creative community – a place that will challenge conventional ideas of craftsmanship and making. I like the idea that there may be opportunities to work collaboratively with people I wouldn’t usually get to mix with in more conventional studio settings.”
Rob Dee of independent record label, Philophobia Music, added "It's really vital for us to be in and amongst like-minded people. The studios in The Old Library will be a place for us to draw inspiration from other creative people. I'm excited to be moving the label from my living room (where we've outgrown) and into a space we can really grow."
The conversion of The Old Library has been supported by Wakefield Metropolitan District Council, Arts Council England and the European Regional Development Fund.
Images copyright Nick Singleton for The Art House:
Costume designer Julia Watson is pictured with Rob Dee, from independent record label, Philophobia Music. Rob and Julia are two of the first tenants to take space at the Art House’s newly converted workspace in the Old Library.