Studio at the Elephant - background

On Friday March 4th2011 Studio at the Elephant was launched at Unit 207/8 on the first floor ofThe Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, next door to Jenny’s Café.

Studio at theElephant is a project bringing together different artists, practitioners, organisationsand locals thorough a series of conversations, workshops and other events. TheStudio also acts as a platform for locals to voice their opinions creativelyand a place of temporary residence to visiting artists. 

Eva Sajovic and Rebecca Daviesappealed to the management (St.Modwen), having met some months before duringRebecca’s residency in Unit 215 (a 2 week block of activities and workshops forlocals). Rebecca had invited Eva to talk about her project Home From Home in aconversation event at Unit 215. The two found an affinity with one another’swork and decided to set up a space that was a bit more long term.

Their appeal to St.Modwen fora unit outlined the following:

The Studio would act as a studio/school/museum foreveryone, a place of residence for monthly visiting artists, a place ofresidence for Eva and Rebecca, a space to host workshops/screenings/events.

The studio residency would lead on a series ofprojects in close consultation with the visiting artists with the objective ofgiving them the space to develop their own work as well as to build theircapacity and skills with the community in Elephant & Castle.  Itwould also be a space where Rebecca and Eva would be able to continue theirprojects as well as to find ways of collaborating on a project with a strongelement of community involvement (family and friends, peer groups,intergenerational groups).

St.Modwen granted permissionfor the use of Unit 207/8 for free and they funded the opening event. Thisfunding of £250 was followed up with a further £500 to cover the cost ofmaterials for the 4 months. During those months Eva and Rebecca evaluated eachevent or workshop that took place and reported to St.Modwen on the progress ofthe studio on a weekly basis.

Rebecca and Eva havecollaborated with organisations including Tate Modern, the Latin AmericanWorkers Association (LAWAS), the Art of Conversation, LCC, Resonance FM, theCuming museum, Southwark council and various local schools.

To date, thestudio has seen over 40 different artists delivering workshops and creatingtheir work in reaction to the area. Over 800 people from the local communityand afar have attended the events. Each and every one of the individualshosting workshops and activities, like Eva and Rebecca, dedicated their timefor free.

After the closure in the Unit 207/8, Studio at the Elephant was mobile for a time: events have taken place from the tenth floorof Hannibal House, at the Faraday Memorial and in the Cuming Museum.

It has since matured into other work that the duo make in the Elephant, amongst other the People's Bureau.


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