StudioRCA Launches at Nine Elms Marking New Cultural South Bank District

The Royal College of Art has launched a fine art project space with cultural strategists Futurecity and property developer St James – what will be the first arts venue to open as part of the emerging cultural district at Nine Elms on the South Bank.

StudioRCA, housed at St James’s Riverlight residential development, designed by Richard Rogers, aims to be a window on creative thinking, dialogue, exchange, questioning and discovery – and is a permanent project space for exhibitions, screenings, performances, seminars and artist residencies. Over the next five years, there will be a vibrant programme of events, some of which will invite public participation. The space is also a hub for a number of the RCA's Sculpture programme's research activities. 

Artist and RCA Sculpture alumnus Jim Woodall’s interactive installation Adaptation of a Memory of my Father's Studio Circa 1981 is the first solo exhibition, launching the space. Pots, created by the public through a series of workshops last week, are displayed alongside the pots made by Jim and Graham Woodall until 26 October.

The installation explores boundaries between public and private space, and the alteration of memory through mediation as Woodall recreates his father’s old studio and his past ceramic practice. The recreation of the studio is based on Woodall's only photograph of himself in his father's studio as a baby. As part of the recreation, participants were invited to throw ceramic pots on stage, while others watched the performance or viewed the live footage, captured by multiple camera angles.

Property developer St James has gifted the new space to the RCA, fully fitted and serviced with an annual funding package for a five-year period. StudioRCA was initiated and developed by arts consultancy, Futurecity, and Senior Tutor in Sculpture, and Fellow of RCA, Kate Davis

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.' 

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council and Co-Chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, described how the RCA’s growing presence Battersea has helped bring new jobs and opportunities to local people in Wandsworth: ‘It  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.’

Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James added: ‘The opening of StudioRCA at Riverlight creates an opportunity for a cultural hub and a new space for the residents in Nine Elms.’

Jim Woodall will be located and working at StudioRCA at weekends, from 2–4pm, at StudioRCA One, Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5AU until 26 October. The public is invited to come along.