Arts & Culture  Features

StudioRCA: a cultural hotspot in Nine Elms

Heather McCalden

Published on
August 15, 2017


The world’s number one art and design postgraduate university, the Royal College of Art, has a hidden gem in Nine Elms: StudioRCA.

It’s a gallery, it’s an exhibition space, it’s a performance stage, it’s an alumni platform, it’s a streetview vitrine, it’s a test-bed for emerging artists.

This magnetic, bijou space is a cultural hotspot at the heart of Nine Elms alongside the emerging cluster of galleries in the area.

It started off when St James, part of the Berkeley Group, worked with cultural consultancy Futurecity to bring its long-term cultural vision to life. This laid the foundations for a partnership between the Royal College of Art and St James to bring StudioRCA to Riverlight.

It has since hosted artists, curators, critics, architects and cultural producers where local festivals, like Chelsea Fringe and the London Festival of Architecture, have used the space for engaging with the community.

It’s the sort of place where art embraces all that it’s meant to be: evocative, provocative, confusing, calming, bold, beautiful, engaging and enigmatic. Curator Anne Duffau explains her goal is to use this avenue with an interdisciplinary approach to “develop relationships with the younger generation.” Somewhere that brings together long-time residents and newcomers to this London community.

Anne is also looking to expand beyond the single artist curation of what we know. This means bringing in artists of all kinds, with monthly exhibitions featuring sculpture, gifs, performance, poetry: you name it. All these works come under her project “A—Z” – a platform that uses words related to the idea of Entropy as a starting point. One letter, one experiment, twenty-six times.

Admission is free but the thing with StudioRCA is that you can enjoy the exhibitions even when the gallery is closed: the architecture of the space means you can view artworks from outside and in that way, the space is accessible beyond temporal restrictions. It’s part of their goal to make the space accessible to everyone.

With the Black Cab Coffee Company café right around the corner, the Nine Elms Tavern across the pavement and the Battersea Barge docked there on the Thames, it makes this part of Nine Elms a cosy cultural nexus where you can enjoy good company, good food, and good entertainment.

StudioRCA is open Mondays through Fridays 9:30am – 5:30pm and Saturdays noon – 5pm. Grab your camera, grab your friends and come visit!

Their latest exhibition ‘Unnatural Wealth‘ runs until September 7th.


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