New Arts Venue Launches Nine Elms Cultural District

In collaboration with the Royal College of Art

StudioRCA, working in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, is the first arts space to open as part of the new cultural district in Nine Elms on the South Bank

The first solo exhibition will be by renowned artist Jim Woodall. It involves an interactive mixed media installation entitled ‘Adaptation of a Memory of my Father’s studio circa 1981’. The exhibition will run until Sunday 26th October. 

Developer St James has gifted the new space to the RCA rent free, fully fitted and serviced along with an annual funding package for a five-year period. It is situated on the ground floor commercial section of the first phase of the new Riverlight development. 

Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James, said: “The opening of StudioRCA at Riverlight creates an opportunity for a cultural hub and a new space for the residents in Nine Elms. The new public space and cultural offering are an integral part of this development and demonstrates St James’ commitment to creating exciting new destinations for people to live and enjoy.”  

The cultural character of the South Bank, established by institutions such as the National and the Globe Theatres, is being extended along the river bank as part of the revival of Nine Elms. StudioRCA is pioneering the creation of this new creative district and will precede the opening of Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery and Charles Asprey’s Cabinet Gallery next year. The renovation of the New Covent Garden Market and numerous other projects will further establish the area as a destination location.

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council and Co-Chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, said: “Through its presence in Battersea, the RCA has already brought new jobs and opportunities to local people in Wandsworth and will further this fantastic influence through its collaboration with St James in Nine Elms. StudioRCA promises to be a vibrant art space that will add to the developing cultural story in Nine Elms.”

Jim Woodall’s installation will explore the boundaries between public and private space and the alteration of memory through mediation as he recreates his father’s old studio and past ceramic practice. It will be based on a photograph of Woodall as a baby in his father’s studio which he has no actual memory of. The installation will be staged and filmed from multiple camera angles to represent how memories can be adapted and created. Participants can throw ceramic pots on stage, watch others and look at screens displaying live footage.

StudioRCA was initiated and developed by St James’ consultants Futurecity and Kate Davis, Senior Tutor and Fellow of the RCA. Staff, students and alumni will be joined by invited artists, thinkers and makers to host exhibitions, screenings, performances, seminars and artist residencies. There will be a full programme of events over the next five years which will invite public participation. StudioRCA will also be where the Fine Art sculpture programme will locate some of its ongoing research activities.

Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art said: “StudioRCA provides an invaluable experience for students and will be a significant addition to the exciting arts offering in the area. We are delighted to take over the space and to continue working with St James.”

Riverlight is designed by iconic architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. In their signature style, there are six contemporary pavilions that range from 12 to 20 storeys with exterior glass walled elevators. The 813 residences are designed to maximise sunlight and the dramatic views across the river. Over 75% of the site, some four acres, comprises of landscaped outdoor spaces and there will be shops, cafes, restaurants and a crèche as well as an exclusive clubhouse, swimming pool and gym for residents.

StudioRCA is located at Riverlight, One Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5AU.


October 29, 2014