Tag Archives: london

Shed13 Art Exhibition 2017


Exhibition of artwork by the artists of Shed 13 Cricket Green School in London, England. Wed 17th – Sat 20th May 2017. Lots of the work is on sale to raise funds for Shed 13 art studio. Please go along and support the young artists if you can!

Art Is…

Room 13 International was thrilled to be represented at this event organised by Freelands Foundation and hosted by Tate Modern on Saturday 9th April 2016. Bringing together an eclectic mix of artists, teachers, curators, writers and organisations, the day provided an opportunity to foster unexpected connections and explore ideas about art, education, play and society. Featuring films, talks and a marketplace bursting with ideas and inspiration from a host of organisations who advocate, create and facilitate arts activity and development across the UK.

The 2004 documentary film about Room 13, ‘What Age Can You Start Being an Artist?’ was screened, and found itself in great company, as part of a programme of screenings throughout the day which included ‘Fully Awake’ a documentary about Black Mountain College* and ‘DADA’, Greta Deses’s unique 1969 film about the history and significance of Dadaism.

Mike Fairclough, Head Teacher of West Rise Junior School, took the stage in the main auditorium. His school is not only home to Room 13 West Rise but also a protected marshland complete with bronze age settlement and a herd of water buffalo. For the children at West Rise Junior School, everyday activities include forest school, bronze smelting, caring for the buffalo, sheep and a million bees, construction and maintenance of their very own roundhouse, archery and firearms training. Mike gave an inspirational presentation, explaining how his approach, which involves taking advantage of every possible opportunity to create the most interesting and exciting learning environment in and around his school, has lead to endorsement from OFSTED, Times Educational Supplement and the Health and Safety inspectorate.


Others who took to the stage on the main auditorium included representatives of Ars Aevi Project**, The Foundling Museum, and the Shop of Possibilities.

The day concluded in conversation with Michael Craig Martin and Mark Wallinger, two speakers with years of experience as artists and educators.  They talked of their experiences as professor and student during what could be considered a golden age of art college education. Their discussion included the observation that the most important difference in the study of art is its difference. There is no subject to be studied as such. There is no such thing as a general work of art. It requires an individual to jump in at the deep end on the first day, and grapple with the substance of their ideas and expression on the same terms as their professor, resulting in a specific, very substantial education. So the answer to the question ‘What age can you start being an artist?’ might be – whatever age you take that leap.








* Hidden in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain College (1933 – 1957) was an influential experiment in education that inspired and shaped twentieth century American art. Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is a documentary film that explores the college’s progressive pedagogy and radical approach to arts education.

** As Bosnia descended into the depths of war, a group of artists and curators formed Ars Aevi Project as an expression of collective international will. Resisting the destruction of life and culture the group staged a series of contemporary art installations across Europe that focused on bringing the artists together to create and cultivate the heritage of the present day. This resulted in an extensive new collection of contemporary artworks being created and donated by the artists involved. Ars Aevi Project is now engaged in building a new Museum of Contemporary Art in Sarajevo, which will host the collection.

Post Author: Claire Gibb

In Memoriam: Maddie Thompson

Maddie Thompson 29.06.2004 – 23.10.2014

Managing Director of Room 13 Aragon

We would like to extend heartfelt sympathies to the pupils and staff of Aragon Primary School, and most especially to the family and friends of Maddie Thomson, who tragically died very suddenly on Thursday 23rd Oct following a brief but very serious illness.

Maddie had been fully involved with Room 13 since Year 3, having started coming to the studio as soon as she was able. At work and in meetings she was quiet and conscientious, not always saying a lot but what she did say was always extremely wise. Around her friends, Maddie was funny and boisterous, a lively and popular presence in Room 13.

As well as being Managing Director of Room 13 since Sept 2013, Maddie was a prolific artist. She had been busy making work for an exhibition in a local gallery at which Room 13 Aragon was to show work along with other Room 13 studios in the region. The exhibition is scheduled for early December, and will go ahead in Maddie’s honour.

Maddie also contributed to a recent project in the studio, designing a Moneybox which has been touring the world raising funds for Room 13 International.

The children of Aragon Primary have been expressing their grief with tributes and messages to Maddie, who was popular and involved in many aspects of school life.

We are profoundly sorry for the devastating loss suffered by Maddie’s family and friends at Aragon Primary School. This sad news will be felt deeply by the Room 13 community around the world and we know many artists of all ages and will want to extend their condolences and respect at the loss of one of our young emerging talents at such a tragically young age.

Any messages of condolence can be passed on to Maddie’s family via Louise Frewin, Artist in Residence at Room 13 Aragon, or by e-mail via Room 13 International.

InterGen Artlink Project

Inter-generational project at Room 13 Beatrice Tate

In 2012, Room 13 International has supported Room 13 Beatrice Tate in making a successful application to the Shadwell Trust. The grant from Shadwell Trust is being administered through Room 13 International to run ”Intergen Artlink” project, linking Room 13 Beatrice Tate with their surrounding community in Bethnal Green, east London.

The aim of the project is to draw together local groups that would otherwise not meet, to take part in creative and social workshops facilitated by artists Emma Conder and Bob Dawson.

Other outcomes of the project are to build the profile of Room 13 in the community and to start creating long term supportive and mutually beneficial links and relationships.

This is an inter-generational project involving young people from the Room13 studios in Beatrice Tate and and Old Ford schools and older residents from Gateway Sheltered Housing and Tower Hamlets U3A art groups.

In a series of with creative workshops, participants in the ”Intergen Artlink” project have been given the opportunity to express themselves through a range of mediums and techniques, including collage, print, drawing, poems, sculpture, books, through which they are encouraged to share and compare their cultural, generational and personal experiences, and stories about growing up and life in Tower Hamlets.

To date, both young and elderly participants have enjoyed dedicated workshop sessions in familiar territory, as well as being able to get out and about to explore the local area and coming together in unique spaces and times created for meeting and making.

Rather than impose themes, the artists have encouraged and facilitated the group to set the direction and pace of their creative enquiry. Sessions to date have involved working in sketchbooks, alone and in groups, getting to know and each other and be comfortable sharing work and ideas, collecting material and information about the local area and its history; memories; self portraits; and responding to music.

This project is ongoing, and will culminate in 2013 with an exhibition of the groups work inspired by their collective and individual experiences.

In their own words:

“At the start of the project the idea was to individually and collaboratively make work about the member’s collective experience and personal memories of Bethnal Green (London), the local area, and what it meant to the participants.

However over the course of the project it has become clear that these unique spaces and times created for meeting and making; are more about getting to know each other, to chat and to share, with the common thread of ‘creativity’ and ‘making’ as a constant presence and activity from the start.  The creation of art works and sharing in processes have become the foundations and the spring board on which the participants are connecting with each other and learning about each other.  The artists have adjusted the themes and focus of the workshops accordingly.

The first workshop in 2012 was all about meeting each other and showing our art work. In their own studio during preparatory workshops,  both groups had been working on sketchbooks and pieces about themselves and their lives. We had been collecting material and information about the local area and its history; memories and experiences, photos, actual things, sketches, word and rubbings. So people brought  pictures of themselves in as children, or brought in things or pictures of things that are important to them. In small groups or couples, however they naturally formed, we looked at each others work; talked about what it meant, or how it had been created, and shared a cup of tea and a beautiful spread of cakes! Some of the participants started to create collages from the materials that had been set out; working together.

Our second meeting was to be a joint group trip of the Senior art groups and children from the Room 13 Old Ford school, to a local exhibition of historical and recent photography of the area.  Both groups had sessions with the artists in preparation for the trip. The Old Ford Room 13 children had thought about the meaning of place, and about what home means; we did some collaborative mapping of their local area.  The seniors enjoyed the exhibition and were able to see the changes in the local area. Unfortunately The Old Ford School group were unable to join the trip at the last minute.

Our next session at Ruth Court had the theme of self portrait and use of clay. Each group had preparatory workshops practising to create clay busts, or enjoying the properties of the clay and experimenting with mark making and imprints. All the participants got stuck into creating sculptures straight away; chatting and helping each other.  Everyone was pleased to see familiar faces again; there was ‘banter’ and a real celebratory atmosphere! There were some interesting pieces created which were all photographed and the clay recycled.

Our most recent session in March 2013 was very soft and tranquil; as everyone appeared to be comfortable and at ease with each other. It also maybe have been due to the theme of the workshop which was music and responding through drawing and with our bodies. All the groups had been working creatively in response to sounds in run up sessions to the workshop; including the Old Ford young artists, who were unable to make the joint inter-generation session again.  For the workshop we hired a jazz singer and guitarist. While they played the group made marks, and danced with charcoal taped to bamboo lengths, on paper covering the ‘dance floor’ creating a collaborative and unending response to the music.

We are looking forward to the next meeting of our groups and excited to see how the relationships we are all developing will create opportunities for everyone in the future.”

Emma Conder
Lead Artist, Intergen Artlink Project.

Exhibition at Caffe Bernardo

This exhibition from Room 13 Aragon at Caffe Bernardo runs from the 30th of April until Saturday 25th of May.

All welcome at the Family Day on Saturday 4th of May.

There is also an open studio day at Room 13 Aragon lined up for the 22nd of May.

If you’re in the area, please do come along and introduce yourself!

The Beautiful South Trading Post

Room 13 studios in London and the South of England will gather today for a trading fair. The event, which is being hosted by Blackrock at their offices in Drapers Gardens, London, will give young artists and studio managers in this region a chance to network, show their work and sell their own unique products.