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A pair of hands are weaving colourful thin wires around a circular base. Lots of the wires are sticking out in all directions

The Studio

The Studio is a contemporary arts space at the Horniman, developed as part of the redisplay and redevelopment work with our anthropology collections.

The Studio gives the Horniman the opportunity to put community groups and artists at the centre of our exhibitions and public programme. This space is the hub of an exciting programme of exhibitions, events, and activities.

The Studio has been home to two exhibitions inspired by the anthropology collection and co-curated by the Collective. There have been two Collectives – one per year – made up of staff, artists and community members from groups involved in creative support programmes across South London.

Support the project

The development of The Studio and the wider anthropology redisplay project has £3.3m funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Horniman is raising an additional £1.3m through grant-making bodies and public donations, to complete the project.

To support the project give online at horniman.ac.uk/worldgallery or donate via the contactless reader at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. 

The 2019 Collective

The Collective members who collaborated on the 2019-20 exhibition are:

  • Ahmadzia is a kite maker and a volunteer at Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers (SDCAS). He came to the UK in 2006 from Kunduz, Afghanistan, and is a refugee.
  • Carola Cappellari recently graduated with a BA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography and volunteers her skills to produce promotional material for the Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation, a community-led organisation supporting Latin Americans to build secure and integrated lives in the UK.
  • Francis Stanfield was a member of the Collective during the formative stages but sadly passed away in July 2019. He was a multi-tasker when it came to music, who described himself as ‘the original stuporman’. He was influenced by surrealism, films and art, and liked ‘anything out of the weird’. We will remember his music, his political wit, his incredible cartoons and his outrageous jokes. He is much missed by us and his friends at St.Christopher’s Hospice.
  • Godfrey Gardin, from Kenya but living in London, who volunteers with SDCAS ‘because it enriches the community where I live’ and who also has an interest in gardening.
  • Jacqueline Benn has a career background in broadcasting and immersive theatre. Her interests lie in the arts, writing and short film making. In her spare time she is a keen artist, musician and swimmer, alongside her involvement with the South East London ME Support Group.
  • Jawad was born in Afghanistan in 1991. He came to the UK in 2006. He received his refugee status in 2011 and indefinite leave to remain later that year. He wants to become a plumber or an electrician. He is a volunteer gardener at SDCAS.
  • Kate Emblen is an artist working across multiple media and art forms including painting, printing, textile art and millinery. She engages with the local community, including Arts Network, through craft fairs, art trails and collaborative working.
  • Katie Schwab is an artist who works across exhibition, learning and community contexts to explore forms of collective working.
  • Norin Khanna was a sighted person at birth, who lost sight later in life. He is involved with organisations both as a service-user and accessibility advisor. He is on numerous organisational panels, including the Horniman’s Access Advisory Group.
  • Satch Chauhan, a member of Three Cs, is a ‘very curious’person with ‘a lot of passion for anything and everything’. He was born in Nairobi and moved to the UK aged one.
  • Sheila Hepper was a florist who has rediscovered her creative streak through joining St. Christopher’s Hospice arts team.

The 2018 Collective

London-based artist Serena Korda worked alongside local people to co-create the Horniman Museum and Gardens’ launch show for The Studio, which opened in October 2018.

Serena Korda worked as part of the Collective – a collaborative group including 10 members involved in artistic and creative community support programmes across south London – to create the inaugural programme for The Studio.

The Studio Collective in 2018 were:

  • Anna-Maria Amato – an artist and curator of the SHARP Gallery in Brixton, which exhibits work by emerging artists, many of whom are mental health service users        
  • Joe Francis – a songwriter from a musical background, whose involvement with patients at St Christopher’s Hospice has revitalised his interest in all kinds of arts, especially pottery
  • Judith Fernandes – a service user of Three Cs, which supports people with learning disabilities and/or mental health challenges, who also volunteers with the Horniman, and Three Cs’ allotment
  • Julia Austin – an active member of organisations campaigning for and working with disabled people, and a member of the Horniman’s Access Advisory Group for a number of years
  • Lu Firth – a community worker with a particular interest in textiles, who runs arts and heritage projects with diverse audiences
  • Michael Cox – a keen photographer who regularly attends workshops at the Horniman as part of the Community Connections group for older people
  • Nigel Looker – a lifelong Forest Hill resident, who is a peer support volunteer with MIND and attends the Community Connections Group at the Horniman
  • Philip Baird – an artist, musician and mental health service user, who is an Arts Ambassador for both Arts Network, a mental health arts organisation based in Lewisham, and the Dragon Café 
  • Serena Korda
  • and members of the Horniman team.

The Collective 2018 would like to commemorate Nick Gonzalez, a greatly valued and much missed member of the group.

Critical Arts Group

  • Rebecca Heald – an independent curator with over 20 years’ experience working in London and internationally. She is currently co-curator with Tamsin Dillon on The King’s Cross Project, a series of major commissions for the King’s Cross development site, working for the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership. She lectures on Curatorial Practice on Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in London.
  • Dr Christopher Wright – a visual anthropologist who teaches in the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London, in particular on the MA Visual Anthropology programme. He also continues to work in community video and to carry out research on social media and photography in the UK and elsewhere. He has published articles and books on the links between anthropology and contemporary art.
  • Manick Govinda – Programme Director (since January 2018) for SPACE. He was formerly Head of Artists Advisory Services & Artists Producer for Artsadmin. Govinda developed a number of initiatives for individual artists’ support and development, including the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists in 1993-1995, the deciBel Awards for BAME visual artists and the Artsadmin artists bursary scheme.
  • Sarah Cole – a Senior Lecturer on the BA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. She is also a practicing visual artist whose work engages with pedagogy, performance and place, and takes the form of events, installations, recordings, presentations and publications.
  • Dr Alison Rooke – a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of The Art of Regeneration Ltd, a social enterprise specialising in researching arts and culture. Alison’s research is concerned with the dynamics of participation brought about through arts-led interventions, urban policy and regeneration. She has a long history of working collaboratively with local communities, activists and cross-sectoral stakeholders in educational and community settings on a local, national and international scale.
  • Gina Buenfeld – Programme Curator, Exhibitions at Camden Arts Centre, London where she has worked with internationally-acclaimed artists since 2009. Her research is concerned with plant ontology, looking specifically at forms of aural and visual abstraction used in spiritual practices to enable contact with and understanding of the energies of plants. On a sabbatical in 2017, she undertook fieldwork in the Amazon basin, Finnish Lapland, Ireland and the Penwith region of Cornwall.