Established in the 1960s, ActionSpace is London’s leading development agency for artists with learning disabilities. We are an exceptional visual arts organisation with big ambitions for all the artists that we work with. ActionSpace supports, advocates and promotes diversity within the contemporary visual arts sector. All of our work is focused towards enabling artists with learning disabilities to have a professional career in the arts.
Our status as a sector leader within the UK has been recognised by Arts Council England, who have funded our work for over 20 years. In the 2018-22 National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding round, ActionSpace was one of only 4 organisations in London to be awarded an uplift in funding.
Our work with high profile cultural organisations such as the Camden Arts Centre, Royal Academy of Arts, Outside In/Pallant House Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery has helped to establish a place for artists with learning disabilities in the contemporary arts sector. We are part of the European Outsider Art Association.
We aim to make a professional career in the visual arts a realistic option for artists with learning disabilities.
At our dedicated studios based at Cockpit Arts in Holborn, Studio Voltaire in Clapham and ACAVA’s Barnham Park Studios in Brent, artists attend weekly Studio Projects and receive guidance and mentoring from our specialist artist facilitators. This supports them to develop their practices and establish their own unique artistic signatures.
Our exhibition programme provides our studio artists with opportunities to showcase and sell their work. Each artist has at least one opportunity a year to exhibit their work. Participatory events such as Make It Live allow our artists to share their practice and to engage with others.
Our professional development programme is run in partnership with a range of contemporary arts organisations. The programme aims to provide our artists with the same opportunities and experiences available to their peers. ActionSpace encourages artists to take control of their professional practice and supports them by continuing to develop contacts within the visual arts sector in order to create bespoke projects. The ActionSpace team mentor individuals to submit work for open submission exhibitions and pursue other advertised opportunities and support their participation.
ActionSpace’s Beyond the Studio programme extends our work outside of the studio, and responds to the needs and interests of London’s learning disability community. We work with partners across London to deliver projects that stimulate, inspire and transform the participants’ lives through building confidence and learning new skills.