Acme Studios — #16 Work/live Opportunities

Supporting Artists since 1972

#16 Work/live Opportunities

50 opportunities for 50 years

“It was the first time I've ever lived in a place that treated me as an artist.”

Acme’s work/live studios aim to provide artists with well-designed, safe, practical workspace and auxiliary living space for a stable, low rent. Artists are selected through application and allocated a studio for a fixed term and rent.

These unique opportunities aim to improve artists’ circumstances by targeting artists with a practical need for better suited space, while also increasing their time to make work.

“I was able to live and give priority to my creative practice more. Because, in other circumstances, I had to take on more work that would eat my time.” Acme work/live tenant, 2022

Acme has three buildings containing work/live studios, all of which were designed with this specific type of artist support in mind: High House, Purfleet (providing work/live studios since 2013); Glassyard, Stockwell (providing work/live studios since 2013); and the Fire Station in Poplar (providing work/live studios since 1997). These studios intend to lessen the financial hardship of artists, targeting those with a financial need for affordable studio and housing in London.

Precarious living and working conditions threaten artists’ abilities to maintain their practice, practically and mentally. To alleviate these pressures, Acme’s work/live studios look to provide stability through secure, long-term leases that enable artists to remain living and working in London.

Many of Acme’s work/live tenants have mentioned how having a fixed rent is extremely useful for budgeting and planning ahead, and how this stability has had a beneficial impact on their mental health.

“In London, this is extremely rare, to be able to know that you're not going to get kicked out, that the rent is not going to go up, that you actually can stay for that amount of time. This is absolutely exceptional, it's very significant.” Acme work/live tenant, 2022

Work/live tenants have also described how their practice has benefited from having more time to concentrate on it, as “your practice starts to yield more… It's like you're allowed to create an investment in it.”

Our work/live studios have been used in a variety of ways. As well as computer-based, clean work such as video editing, other uses include conversion of the bathroom into a darkroom, creation of a DIY sound recording booth, setting up as a Foley studio or a film set and for large scale painting.

For most artist tenants, the studios’ affordability and long-term security is key - it allows more time for their artistic practice, due to less time being spent on other income-generating activities.

“Even if I don't do any artwork for a week, I still feel like I'm completely an artist. Immersing myself in the space, I'm constantly looking, even just moving things around and just looking. I think my sense of identity as an artist is definitely stronger. And I would never doubt that, even when I was busy with paid work.” Acme work/live tenant, 2022