Our new West London Studios

This Easter and Summer Term provide a final opportunity to paint, draw, sculpt and print at Kensington Palace Studios before we move to our new historic West London base at Sydney Close Studios. The School has enjoyed the use of two studio rooms at Kensington Palace since 2008, first as space for our alumni to paint in, and since 2009 for Public Programme courses. We’re delighted that we have found a new venue for ‘The Making Process’ series of courses, which will be re-locating to its new home just around the corner in South Kensington from Autumn 2013.

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Our new West London studio is the result of a collaboration with the Machin Arts Foundation, the legacy of the late Arnold Machin, a sculptor best-known for his miniature reliefs of Queen Elizabeth II that were reproduced on coins around the UK and Commonwealth, and on the iconic British first-class stamps still used today. Arnold Machin used the studio from the 1950s until his death in 1999. The School is extremely fortunate to have use of the purpose-built Victorian studio in a historic location, as many similar properties have been converted into private apartments. With its double-height, top-lit space the studio has an abundance of natural light and provides the perfect setting for a painting class with an atelier-like atmosphere.

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The new studio is one of a group of studios allegedly built on the site of Henry VIII’s stables, which have housed many notable artists over the years. From 1850 one space was used by Baron Carlo Marochetti, Queen Victoria’s favourite sculptor, as his studio and foundry, who with Sir Edwin Landseer, cast the lions at the base of Nelson’s Column. Sir Alfred Gilbert, sculptor and goldsmith, sculpted Eros in his studio and also taught Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise, who became a respected sculptor in her own right. Later artists and designers who worked (and sometimes lived) in the studios included John Singer Sargent, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Joseph Boehm and Sir Edward PoynterThe Survey of London also records that Suffragettes operated a secret press from the cellar of number 5 for a time.

For this summer term we have programmed three daytime painting classes at Sydney Close Studios to run alongside our last term at Kensington Palace Studios: Life Painting: Figure in a Room with Francis Hoyland, Painting: From the Human Form, with Paul Gopal-Chowdhury and John Lessore and The Stuff of Painting and Drawing: Creating an Experimental Atelier with Daniel Chatto. On Thursday evenings Clara Drummond and James Lloyd will teach Painting the Contemporary Portrait. We will also be running our West London Summer School from Sydney Close, with courses on offer including Painting a Head with BP Portrait Award winners Ishbel Myerscough and James Lloyd, Summer Life Painting with Andy Pankhurst and a brand new course with Susan Wilson providing the opportunity to paint models in distinctive London dress.

We look forward to welcoming you soon at Sydney Close Studios. For upcoming courses please visit the Kensington Palace Studios website.P1050950

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