Artists to be evicted from Granville Arcade

ASC studios in Granville Arcade

Artists with studios in Granville Arcade are being forced to move out of the space some have worked in for a decade.

The owner of the indoor market, In Shops, is refusing to renew the lease for the Artists Studio Company (ASC) which provides studios to 23 artists in Brixton. They currently work above restaurants and shops on 4th and 5th Avenues in Granville Arcade, also known as ‘Brixton Village’.

Zelda Rhiando, a Brixton author who has a studio in Granville Arcade said: “I feel dreadful leaving. If you look at the history of this, Spacemakers came in and worked with the artists to create gallery spaces. It was that which encouraged restaurants to move in.

“All these new restaurants in Brixton market probably wouldn’t have happened without the artists and studios being here. I guess now from a purely commercial point of view we don’t have an impact, but it was very different in 2009.”

There are very few studios available elsewhere in Brixton and most of the artists have had to look elsewhere, in Streatham, Deptford and further out. “The only other studio space in Brixton is above Barnados. You’re talking about us being evicted but with no provision at all for artists to work affordably in other places in Brixton”, said Rhiando.

ASC has a secure business tenancy due to expire in October 2013 and that meant it had the right to a new lease. However, the charity recently received a Section 25 Notice from In Shops informing ASC that they had development plans for Granville Arcade and requiring it to vacate at the building.

Peter Flack, Chief Executive of ASC, said: “After seeking legal advice we decided to challenge their notice. In Shops now have to prove that their development plans are real.”

In Shops were not available to comment and it is not yet clear what the company plans to do with the site.

“The new owners of the market, In Shops have changed the market beyond all recognition and my organization welcomed this change”, said Flack. “ASC artists have occupied studios above a run down market for years and during that time we staged many exhibitions and events in the empty shop units. We feel that we aided the markets development in the early days and now that things have improved artists are not welcome. I assume In Shops are simply looking at increasing profit at our expense.A creative community is yet again under threat from developers.”

The artists have received notice to leave on January 7 2013 while the appeal is underway. ASC is looking to relocate as many people as possible to its other sites.

Zelda Rhiando in the meantime is keen to work with others to set up a cheap space for artsist in Brixton and has asked anyone interested to contact her. Please email us on info@brixtonblog.com for more details.

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Very sorry to hear the news, typical! However, I have a small studio space to rent in East Dulwich which may help one or two artists.. feel free to get in touch.

        • Yes that would

          I am paying £130 a month for a small space.We have to be out by 7th of jan. do you have or know of any spaces in that price range? I could share. I live in rosendale road so it would be easy for me to get there.

          I have been working in tower hamlets as an art teacher part time last 20 years , my art practice is vital to this. I am presently engaged in making art work for an art project which is going open in Wormwood scrubs prison, I urgently need to relocate to finish this work. I think my name on this thread should link to website so people can see what my practice looks like.
          Thanks for getting back Andrew

          • I too live rosendale, well off of. Love my cycle through Dulwich pk to studio. Studio old stable in mews. 325 a month, 200sqft. If you can find someone to split studio with.. there are two of us upstairs and we manage. Great place to work.

  2. I can not believe that this is going to hapen.More homeless artists.immigrants communities.Our organization contribuite little bit in some eventes in the market. Let us know whether we can join any campain or activity to fight back por the place. Together in this strugle. best wishes.

  3. A further step in the gentrification of Brixton. I always felt the Granville Arcade should have been used as a community space. After the riots I went to a community meeting for all Brixton residents held in the town hall. I suggested young people be taken on as trainees by all these new pop up restaurants partly in a way to ensure the restaurants were serving the community in some way and not just the influx of trendies seeking a taste of edgy Brixton. It was dismissed out of hand. As for the artists we have often shown what an area can become by flooding spaces with creative inspiring ideas and consequently attracting attention. Unfortunately in this case it was the attention of the Luddites who could think of nothing to do with the space until they smelled money. It’s a sad but oft repeated equation bring in artists to dead space, they revive it, attract a lot of attention, restaurants open, trendy shops, the owners bump up the rents or simply force the artists out. The space then retains a mere hint of its artistic past but is more sanitised and safe. See Spitafields, Greenwich, etc.
    I wish all artists every success in finding new space but suggest you wouldn’t want to exist in what is set to become a sterile space.
    Is the old Stockwell Hospital still being used as artist space?

  4. Very sorry to hear that. Very unfair. They are getting chucked away like rubbish now they’ve served their purpose eh? Shame on you, Inshops

  5. This is a valuable resource that is being lost. I have worked part time as a teacher for20 years, having space to make work is really important in what i do, and i can just about afford this one in the market that i’ve had for 6 years.. Things were o.k before, it just feels like this place has been invaded and we are driven out. Art should be a social resource for all.

  6. “Zelda Rhiando, a Brixton author who has a studio in Granville Arcade said: “I feel dreadful leaving. If you look at the history of this, Spacemakers came in and worked with the artists to create gallery spaces. It was that which encouraged restaurants to move in.

    “All these new restaurants in Brixton market probably wouldn’t have happened without the artists and studios being here. I guess now from a purely commercial point of view we don’t have an impact, but it was very different in 2009.””

    Damn, what a crazy tale. I bet artists have never made the place nice and then been evicted so the landlords can make more money from nice things before. Spacemakers was always a total sick joke. Tragic for the ASC artists who preceded them.

  7. Appalling. As has happened to other people in Brixton. Big business cashes in on Brixtons alternative arty scene then chucks these people out when they are no longer necessary. InShops, Barratts are all the same. Profit is there motive. Spacemakers was used as cynical stepping stone for what the owners of the market wanted.

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