A cast-bronze cauliflower foundation set with a small square pond lined with tobacco-coloured tiles

Future Fund

Over the past 30 years, Studio Voltaire has grown from an artist-run space to an internationally renowned organisation, making a vital and unique contribution to the local and international arts ecology. Through our recent £2.8 million capital redevelopment, our programmes and impact have grown exponentially.

Studio Voltaire was founded in 1994 by a collective of artists and creatives, who set up a studio space in a disused tram shed on Voltaire Road in Clapham. As well as providing affordable workspace, the building hosted a range of self-organised exhibitions, symposiums, open studios and parties. Three decades since, Studio Voltaire has played a crucial role in increasing accessibility and opportunities, specifically for artists with limited financial means or those experiencing barriers within their careers, and via deep-rooted civic programmes working with local communities.

A white-walled gallery with a vaulted ceiling and large arched windows; the space is filled with two room-zed long rectangular black sculptures

Studio Voltaire has supported breakthrough commissions by artists including Nairy Baghramian (2009), Phyllida Barlow (2010), Danielle Braithwaite-Shirley (2024), Judith Bernstein (2014), Sol Calero (2015), Gabriel Chaile (2023), Monster Chetwynd (2005), Anne Collier (2014), Thea Djordjadze (2007), Sunil Gupta (2022), Sharon Hayes (2016), Nicole Eisenman (2012), Liam Gillick (2004), Judith Hopf (2009), Jamian Juliano-Villani (2014), Nnena Kalu (2020), Sanya Kantarovsky (2015), Ella Kruglyanskaya (2014), McDermott & McGough (2018), Shahryar Nashat (2011), Henrik Olesen (2009), Paulina Olowska (2009), Elizabeth Price (2006), Charliotte Prodger (2012), Richard Slee (2012), Amelie von Wulffen (2017), Cathy Wilkes (2009) and Rehana Zaman (2013).

We have also gained an international reputation for presenting influential archival and survey exhibitions of overlooked figures, including Scott Covert, Maeve Gilmore, Jo Spence, William Scott and The Neo Naturists, including the current exhibition, Beryl Cook / Tom of Finland exhibition pairing these two cultural icons for the first time.

An artist's studio with walls, floor and a chair covered in large-scale black and white painted figures and patterns

Since our inception, Studio Voltaire has provided sustained and affordable workspace for hundreds of artists including Sonia Boyce, Monster Chetwynd, Lubna Chowdhary, Enrico David, Kaye Donachie, Anthea Hamilton, Rene Matić, Bod Mellor and Daniel Sinsel, and significant residencies for international artists including Gabriel Chaile (2023), Sunil Gupta (2020), Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley (2019), Sol Calero (2015), Judith Bernstein (2014), Nicole Eisenman (2012), Erika Verzutti (2009), Nairy Baghramian (2009) and Thea Djordjadze (2007).

Since our redevelopment in 2021, we now support 51 onsite artists with subsidised studios, new production facilities and bespoke professional development programmes. Our means-tested studio award, in partnership with LOEWE, directly increases accessibility and opportunities, specifically for artists with limited financial means.

At a time when funding and opportunities for emerging and underrepresented artists are steadily decreasing, Studio Voltaire's well established role as a vital platform at a crucial moment in their artistic journeys is more important today than ever.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan holding a Rainbow Plaque at the Mayor London's 2023 Pride Reception, surrounded by members of the Rainbow Plaque committee, funders and supporters

Our influential Civic and Learning Programmes provides a site for communities and artists to meet, research, collaborate, learn and create new work, including major projects with Barby Asante, Sunil Gupta, Monster Chetwynd, Raju Rage, Ed Webb-Ingell, They Are Here, Rehana Zaman and Jay Bernard. Studio Voltaire’ National Rainbow Plaques scheme, in partnership with The Mayor of London, highlights the importance of intersectional LGBTQIA+ visibility in our streets and public spaces.

Successive cuts in public funding via Arts Council England and the ongoing effects of Brexit and the cost of living crisis mean the charity is in a very difficult funding landscape. Despite the significant expansion in Studio Voltaire’s studio provision and programming completed in 2021, our level of public funding via Arts Council England has remained static for over 15 years. Arts Council England funding now comprises just 4% of Studio Voltaire’s annual turnover, while the majority of peer organisations receive 25-50% of their turnover from the public purse.

  1. Anthea Hamilton, The Garden, 2021, a Studio Voltaire commission. Images courtesy of the artist. Photo FRENCH + TYE.

    Phyllida Barlow, Bluff, 2010. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artist and Studio Voltaire, London. Credit Andy Keate.

    Studio Voltaire Open House 2023. Photography by Sarah Rainer.

    Rainbow Plaque unveiling at the Mayor of London's Pride Reception, 2023. Image courtesy of the Greater London Authority.

Studio Voltaire
1A Nelsons Row
London SW4 7JR

Open Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm.

Registered Charity No: 1082221. Registered Company No: 03426509. VAT No: GB314268026