ACME International Residencies Programme

Location: London, United Kingdom

Art form: Visual Arts (includes arts writers and curators)

Length of residency: 6 months

Dates: 7 Aug 2017 – 12 Feb 2018, 8 Feb – 13 Aug 2018

Grant amount: $20,000

Website: www.acme.org.uk/international

Founded in 1972, Acme Studios is a London-based charity which provides affordable studio space and residencies and awards for non-commercial fine artists. Acme supports over 700 artists and manages 573 studios in 15 buildings in Greater London, offering a wide range of high-quality, long-term and professionally-managed artist studio spaces, including permanent new-build studios.

In addition to affordable studio space, Acme operates a domestic residency and awards program, which is one of the most supportive and extensive in the UK, and the International Residencies Programme (Acme IRP) manages 22 artists’ residencies in London for a variety of international governments, cultural agencies and foundations.

Residency opportunity

Acme makes every effort to assist visiting artists with the practical, cultural and social aspects of their stay. In addition to managing the studio live/work space, Acme IRP works actively with visiting artists to assist with artists’ networking, practical and research needs, allowing them to develop relationships and focus on their work in a supported environment. Acme IRP staff are available to artists for residency pre-planning, local orientation and to provide assistance and advice throughout the residency.

The overall aim of Acme’s IRP is to offer artists a supported environment and real professional development throughout the residency period. As every artist and their needs are different they are flexible about how they work with artists to achieve their goals.  During the residency period there are a number of opportunities provided by Acme that resident artists can choose to take advantage of. These include:

  • Connecting with UK and international artists through Acme’s networks via Acme organised events including networking drinks, gallery visits and artist dinners;
  • Bespoke one-to-one studio critiques or mentor meetings with UK based arts professionals organised by Acme;
  • Opportunity to work in collaboration with Acme staff to hold artist talks, or develop or participate in group discussions, critiques or events in the new Acme Pavilion Space;
  • One-to-one ongoing support and discussion with Acme IRP staff;
  • Ongoing notifications and invitations to private views, lectures and events in London; and
  • Links with an extensive network of Australian expat artists in London.

Previous artist mentors and professionals who have worked with Acme IRP residency artists include:

  • Marianne Forrest (Co-Director, Auto Italia South East)
  • Cliff Lauson, (Curator, Hayward Gallery)
  • Axel Wieder, (previous Curator of Exhibitions, Arnolfini; current Director, Index, Sweden)
  • Dianne Harris (Director, Kinetica Art Fair)
  • Robin Klassnik OBE (Director, Matt’s Gallery)
  • David Batchelor, Artist
  • Kirsty Ogg (previous Curator, Whitechapel Gallery; current Director, New Contemporaries)
  • Benjamin Cook (Director, LUX)
  • Rory Hyde (Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism, Victoria and Albert Museum)
  • Rob Bowman (Head of Programmes and Production, Artangel)
  • Carol Seigel (Director, Freud Museum)
  • Brett Rogers OBE (Director, The Photographers Gallery)

Accommodation and workspace

The Australia Council for the Arts studio is located in the Manhattan Building, Bow Quarter in East London alongside international studios hosting residencies from Aargauer Kuratorium (Switzerland), Canada Council for the Arts (Canada) and the Quebec Council of Arts and Letters (Canada). 

Bow Quarter is located in Bow, E3, with the artist areas of Bethnal Green and Shoreditch to the west, and the artist area of Hackney Wick and the London 2012 Olympic site to the east. The studio is located in Zone 2 with excellent transport links to central London and the new emerging artist areas in South London.


The studio is located on the third floor and is suitable for a single artist, couple or a couple with one child. The space is open planned, mezzanine style with an internal staircase. It includes a private bathroom, kitchen and carpeted living area, with stairs leading to an upstairs bedroom and separate mezzanine studio area. The studio is simply furnished and has a telephone, answering machine, printer and broadband internet connection. Artists are responsible for providing their own art materials and computer.


Access and Inclusion

ACME are committed to access and diversity in all areas of operation, including service delivery, communication and publicity, staffing, and governance. Access needs to living quarters during a residency can be accommodated upon request. The ACME Equality Strategy can be found here. Please contact Sanja Simic, Project Officer – Residencies, on 02 9215 9336 or s.simic@australiacouncil.gov.au to discuss your specific needs.


GuanWei London Studio

GuanWei London Studio

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